Haines' feature debut, "Children of a Lesser God" (1986), was based on Mark Medoff's Tony award-winning drama about a dedicated speech teacher (William Hurt) and the stubborn deaf woman (Marlee Matlin) with whom he falls in love; the film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Her second film, "The Doctor" (1991), again starred Hurt, this time as a callous heart surgeon humanized by his own hospitalization for cancer. Haines had less popular success with the sometimes endearing but uneven study of the friendship of two older men, "Wrestling Ernest Hemingway" (1993).
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