Film: Rain Man

rain-manLast night I rewatched Rain Man for the first time in about 7 or 8 years. There are obviously many reasons why Rain Man is a cinematic classic – it has a great story line and amazing acting by Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.

The reason I am writing the review of Rain Man is due mainly to the fact that my reaction to the film has changed, or more accurately, developed. When I first watched this film, I was watching it mainly because it was a film classic and I felt that I ought to. I was a teenager and still in secondary school, and the only knowledge of autism that I had at the time was actually from the film itself. Even then, though, I realised that Dustin Hoffman’s acting was astounding and I could appreciate the effort that went into making the film.

However, for the past 5-6 years I have spent the majority of my time working with children with Special Needs, and in particular with children on the Autistic Spectrum. This has meant that my knowledge on the complex issue of autism has developed immensely since the first time I watched Rain Man. So, as you can imagine, watching it last night, I was able to reflect on the knowledge I now have – and I can say, without doubt, that Dustin Hoffman’s acting, rather than just being astounding, is the best acting that I have ever seen. The way he captures the unique idiosyncrasies of a person with autism is amazing. There was clearly a lot of research that went into preparing for the role, and that’s something that I can really appreciate – there was clearly care taken over the way that autism was portrayed in the film.

Apart from that, I also think the way in which Tom Cruise’s character develops through the film is really impressive. It highlights the ignorance surrounding autism in the late 80’s, and how understanding can mean everything.

This is definitely a must watch classic!

5/5

Also as a side note, I recently watched the BBC Horizon documentary on Living with Autism which was a good clinical insight into the subject.

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