En 1970, Farrokh Bulsara, un immigré parsi, est étudiant en art et travaille comme bagagiste à l'aéroport de Londres-Heathrow. Un soir, dans une petite boîte de nuit, il découvre sur scène le groupe de rock Smile, alors composé du guitariste Brian May, du batteur Roger Taylor et du chanteur-bassiste Tim Staffell. Ce dernier annonce aux deux autres qu'il a décidé de quitter la formation pour rejoindre un autre groupe qui lui semble plus prometteur. Après le concert, Farrokh se présente à Brian May et Roger Taylor, qui sont alors dépités. Ils ne prennent pas au sérieux ce jeune homme au look étrange et Roger Taylor, alors étudiant en médecine dentaire, se moque même de sa denture si particulière, mais Farrokh leur fait une démonstration de ses capacités en chant qui les fait changer d'avis. Après des débuts hésitants, ils sont rejoints par le bassiste John Deacon. Le groupe se renomme Queen, alors que Farrokh choisit comme nouveau nom Freddie Mercury, malgré les réticences de son père. Le groupe commence à se faire remarquer, notamment par les performances scéniques de Freddie, qui demande par ailleurs en mariage Mary Austin, une vendeuse de vêtements qu'il fréquente depuis plusieurs mois et qui l'aide à créer ses costumes de scène.
In 1981, Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks), a man with below-average intelligence, watches a feather fall from the sky at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. As he sits down on a bench, he removes a copy of The Adventures of Curious George from his suitcase and places the feather inside the pages. He introduces himself and begins telling his life story to strangers who sit next to him on the bench, recounting his childhood in Greenbow, Alabama. As a child in the 1950s, Forrest (Michael Connor Humphreys) had to wear leg braces for which other children make fun of him. He lives with his single mother (Sally Field) in a very large house outside of town, which they rent rooms to travelers. His father apparently left and he never knew him. Despite his limited mental capacity, Mrs. Gump tells her son that "stupid is as stupid does" (which he later uses as a retort when called "stupid") and also assures him that he is no different from any of the other children. Forrest is admitted to public school despite his IQ being below the cut-off, but only after his mother agrees to a one-night stand with the principal, Mr. Hancock (Sam Anderson). On his first bus ride to school, Forrest is rejected by nearly all of his peers except for Jenny Curran (Hanna R. Hall). He and Jenny become best friends, and he helps her hide from her abusive, alcoholic father. One day, while fleeing from bullies, Forrest's leg braces break apart and he discovers that he can run very fast. A few years later, Forrest inadvertently runs onto the field during a local high school football match and catches the attention of Coach Bryant from the University of Alabama who is scouting for players. Forrest attends the university on an athletic scholarship and becomes a college football star, earning him a spot on the College Football All-America Team and a trip to the White House to meet President John F.
Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) is a Senior Associate at the largest corporate law firm in Philadelphia. Beckett hides his homosexuality and his status as an AIDS patient from the other members of the law firm. On the day Beckett is assigned the firm's newest and most important case, a partner in the firm notices a lesion on Beckett's forehead. Although Beckett attributes the lesion to a racquetball injury, it is actually due to Kaposi's Sarcoma, a form of cancer marked by multiple tumors on the lymph nodes and skin.
In 1986, Eric "Eazy-E" Wright enters a crack-house to sell drugs, but, it is soon raided by the police, who gain entry into the house via a battering ram. Eazy escapes through the house's rear window. Later, Eazy goes to a club with Lorenzo "MC Ren" Patterson to see friends Andre "Dr. Dre" Young, O'Shea "Ice Cube" Jackson and Antoine "DJ Yella" Carraby, who perform the song "Gangsta Gangsta", while Eazy and Ren stand in the audience. After Dre leaves the club, he is arrested after breaking up a fight involving his brother, Tyree. Eazy bails him out the next day. The next morning, Dre talks to Eazy about investing money into a start-up record label, in order to record a track that Cube has written. Cube and Dre want rappers H.B.O.(Homeboys Only) to record the track. Eazy agrees to fund the project. After a conflict arises during the recording session, H.B.O. leaves and Dre convinces Eazy to perform the track. They record and release "Boyz-n-the-Hood". Jerry Heller approaches Eazy and asks if he can be their manager. The group accepts Heller's offer. While performing "Dopeman", they garner the attention of Bryan Turner, a producer at Priority Records, with which they sign. Afterwards, N.W.A commences recording their debut album, "Straight Outta Compton", with Heller. During one of the sessions, they are harassed by some police officers. Frustrated by the situation, Cube writes "Fuck tha Police".
In 1985, Dallas electrician and rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof is diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. He initially refuses to accept the diagnosis, but remembers having unprotected sex with an intravenous drug-using prostitute. He is soon ostracized by family and friends, gets fired from his job, and is eventually evicted from his home. At the hospital, he is tended to by Dr. Eve Saks, who tells him that they are testing a drug called zidovudine (AZT), an antiretroviral drug which is thought to prolong the life of AIDS patients—and is the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing on humans. Saks informs him that in the clinical trials, half the patients receive the drug and the other half are given a placebo, as this is the only way they can determine if the drug is working.
Years ago, Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) is a therapist working at a matchmaking agency owned by Janice (Vanessa L. Williams). She is married to her childhood sweetheart Brice (Lance Gross) whom she has known since she was 6. Brice and Judith attend the same church as her mother Miss Sarah (Ella Joyce), a devout Christian with strong beliefs. Brice is a pharmacist and is soon introduced to a new employee, Melinda (Brandy Norwood). Melinda soon reveals that she is on the run from an abusive boyfriend, who had tried to kill her. Judith is dissatisfied with her job and anxious to start her own business in marriage counseling, but Brice is cautious and tells her to wait until they are more financially stable, which frustrates Judith. She is further frustrated when Brice refuses to confront men who catcall her on their way home from dinner.
In 1987, obese, illiterate 16-year-old Claireece Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) lives in the New York City ghetto of Harlem with her dysfunctional, abusive, unemployed mother, Mary (Mo'Nique), who has long subjected her to physical, mental and sexual abuse. Precious has also been raped by her father, Carl (Rodney "Bear" Jackson), resulting in two pregnancies. The family resides in a Section 8 tenement and survives on welfare. Her first child, "Mongo" (short for Mongoloid), has Down syndrome and is being cared for by Precious' grandmother, though Mary forces the family to pretend that Mongo lives with her and Precious so she can receive extra money from the government. When Precious' second pregnancy is discovered, her high school principal arranges for her to attend an alternative school, where she hopes Precious can change her life's direction. Precious finds a way out of her traumatic daily life by escaping into daydreams. In her mind, she has created an alternate world where she is loved and appreciated.
With the exception of the opening and final scenes, which depict the 1941 suicide by drowning of Virginia Woolf in the River Ouse, the action takes place within the span of a single day in three different years and alternates between them throughout the film. In 1923, Virginia has begun writing the book Mrs Dalloway in her home in the town of Richmond outside London. In 1951, troubled Los Angeles housewife Laura Brown escapes from her conventional life by reading Mrs Dalloway. In 2001, New Yorker Clarissa Vaughan is the embodiment of the novel's title character, as she spends the day preparing for a party she is hosting in honor of her former lover and friend Richard, a poet and author living with AIDS who is to receive a major literary award. Richard tells Clarissa he has stayed alive for her sake, and the award is meaningless because he didn't get it sooner, until he was on the brink of death. She tells him she believes he would have won the award regardless of his illness. Richard often refers to Clarissa as "Mrs. Dalloway" - her namesake - because she distracts herself from her own life the way the Woolf character does.
On Christmas Eve, 1989, aspiring filmmaker Mark Cohen, and his roommate, Roger Davis, learn that the rent previously waived by their former friend and landlord, Benjamin “Benny” Coffin III, is due. At the same time, their former roommate Tom Collins shows up and gets mugged in an alleyway. Meanwhile, Mark and Roger meet with Benny, who tells them he plans to evict the homeless from the nearby lot and build a cyber studio in its place. He offers them free rent if they can get Maureen, Mark's ex-girlfriend, to cancel her protest against his plans, but they refuse.
Three unique women embark on a cross-country road trip: Jane (Whoopi Goldberg), a lesbian lounge singer in search of a new life after breaking up with her girlfriend and getting fired; Holly (Drew Barrymore), a pregnant girl who just wants to escape her brutal boyfriend; and Robin (Mary-Louise Parker), an uptight real estate agent who has her own secrets (namely being infected with HIV).
Steven Jay Russell (Jim Carrey) is on his deathbed, recalling the events of his life that led him to this point. He spent his early adult years in Virginia Beach as a police officer. He plays the organ at church, has unenthusiastic sex with his wife, Debbie (Leslie Mann), and spends his off hours searching for his biological mother, who placed him for adoption as a child. Steven locates his biological mother, but she rejects him.
Seok-joong, a farmer in his mid thirties, is desperate to find a wife and settle down. After backing out of a scheme to set him up with a Filipino bride, he falls head over heels in love with local dabang delivery girl Eun-ha, and starts showering her with gifts. Although Eun-ha is initially unimpressed, she is eventually won over by his kindhearted nature, and the two get married. The couple's marital bliss is short lived, however, as Eun-ha tests positive for HIV/AIDS, and is then tracked down by her abusive ex-husband, who takes her away and forces her back into prostitution.
Michael J. "Jay" Cochran is a retiring United States Naval Aviator who, after 12 years in the service, wants to relax and live one day at a time. He goes to Mexico, accepting a matched pair of Beretta shotguns and an invitation from his wealthy friend Tiburon "Tibey" Mendez to spend time at his hacienda in Mexico. Tibey is a powerful crime boss, constantly surrounded by bodyguards.
Au début des années 1990, le sida se propage depuis près de dix ans. Les militants d'Act Up-Paris s’activent pour lutter contre l'indifférence générale. Au cours des « R.H. » (réunions hebdomadaires menées par deux médiateurs se chargeant de donner les tours de paroles) se décident les actions pour que soient mises en œuvre les trithérapies pour les malades atteints du sida, spécialement les « zaps » (irruption au siège du laboratoire pharmaceutique Melton Pharm, aspersions de faux-sang, notamment contre le directeur de l'Agence française de lutte contre le sida), les die-in, les distributions de préservatifs et de brochures d'information dans les lycées, les tracts dont chaque slogan provocateur est débattu et approuvé par l’assemblée. Les scènes militantes alternent avec les scènes de fête dans lesquelles les militants dansent au son de la house, leur énergie sur la piste faisant s'élever au-dessus d'eux la poussière qui se transforme « en molécules et virus se multipliant et se contaminant ».