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Movie Review: Temple Grandin (2010)

Posted on the 30 June 2011 by Gbollard @gbollard
Movie Review: Temple Grandin (2010)Links: IMDB / Rotten Tomatoes: Rating 100%Director: Mick JacksonStarring: Claire Danes, Julia Ormond, David Strathairn, Catherine O'Hara and Stephanie Faracy
I'd been avoiding Temple Grandin until about a month ago when I was asked to review the latest edition of her excellent book. Temple is arguably the foremost authority on Autism and Aspergers in the world - and as such, I guess that she's the "spoiler queen".
I guess I approached the Temple Grandin movie expecting a typical Hollywood sob story. I certainly wasn't expecting the depth of concept and directness of story that I got. This is a movie that tries to take the viewer and put them in an autistic person's shoes.
In this endeavor, the movie largely succeeds. When Temple walks into a room, we know what scares her. We hear the sounds which overwhelm her and we see the images which flash before her eyes. Her motivations are clear to us and parents of children on the spectrum may find themselves looking at their children's behavior through new eyes. You'll be thinking about the movie long after it ends.
Claire Danes has done an excellent job and is completely unrecognisable as the girl from Romeo+Juliet or Terminator 3. In this film, she IS Temple. She has the voice, the mannerisms and look and the walk. It's an impressive and brave performance which takes the viewer far from the glitz of her previous work.
The story starts more or less as Temple leaves school. It covers some of her early life via flashbacks and moves forward only a few years with only glimpses of the future. This makes for a strong and coherent narrative but in some ways it's also a missed opportunity. I'd have loved to have seen more of Temple's childhood and in particular the ways in which she overcame her inability to speak.
Movie Review: Temple Grandin (2010)Some of the most amazing parts of this movie document the impact
that her mentor, Dr. Carlock had on her life
Ultimately, like Temple's real life, this is a story about being the best that you can be, about bravery in the face of adversity and the power of positive parenting.
Everyone with any connection to autism simply must watch this film. It's an inspiration not only to parents and to people on the spectrum but also to teachers. It clearly demonstrates the power that positive teachers and mentors have to inspire and to change lives.
Temple Grandin (2010) is available from Amazon and other good movie retailers.
Movie Review: Temple Grandin (2010)The real Temple Grandin meets Claire Danes

Honesty clause - I wasn't asked to review this movie but chose to get it, watch it and review it. I'm very glad that I did.

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