Running time: 133 minutes
Screenplay: Ronald Bass, Barry Morrow
Director: Barry Levinson
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino, Jerry Molen, Michael D. Roberts
I've seen Rain Man a few times now. Since the last time I watched it, we've had the whole Weinstein thing happen in Hollywood, which spread to a large number of actors, including one Dustin Hoffman. When questioned on the accusations and his conduct by John Oliver, Hoffman didn't seem to understand what the problem was, which is an unfortunate attitude shared by many who are happy with the status quo. The point is, it's not easy to assimilate the complicated effect this has on how you see your favourite actors. Hoffman is undeniably an incredible performer, and Rain Man is one of his very best. To disregard Rain Man in light of the accusations feels like a disservice everyone else involved in the making of it, but to wax lyrical about Hoffman's standout performance feels too much like tacit approval of his attitude. If I was to write a review of Kill Bill now, I expect it would be different now I have a clearer idea of what Tarantino put Uma Thurman through, and I have no idea how to approach reviewing a Woody Allen or Roman Polanski film. Anyway, these thoughts belong on a different blog, so to Rain Man.
|Ready to clean up.|
Charlie has no clue how to deal with Raymond's eccentricities and has little patience with him to begin with. Charlie simply can't get into a state of mind that allows him to understand what his brother is going through, or more to the point, how he sees and processes the world around him. Once it becomes clear that Raymond is a savant, he tries his luck convincing Raymond to try counting cards in a casino with typical selfishness. Slowly, Charlie begins to form a bond with Raymond, and over the course of the film Charlie goes from wanting the cash to wanting to care for his brother - still not necessarily understanding him, but better able to empathise with him.
Charlie's girlfriend Susanna (Valeria Golino) shares a quiet moment with
By the end, it becomes clear, even to Charlie, albeit reluctantly, that Raymond requires a higher level of care than he is able to provide, so the film finishes on a somewhat bittersweet note; Raymond goes back into care, but Charlie has found a family he hadn't really realised he'd lost.
Great acting work in service to a story that's uplifting but just a touch melancholic.
Rain Man appears to be highly-praised across the board - see these reviews at the Ace Black Blog and by Emma at Empire.