Monday, February 8, 2010

My so called autism.

I know what you're thinking: Claire Danes, Noel? You're telling me that Claire Danes is a good actress?

Yes. I am. Don't strap me to the gurney yet, hear me out. See Temple Grandin.

Turns out that Claire Danes can do more than portray angsty misfit women with ennui.

I know what you're thinking now, too: But Noel, is another misfit girl really that far of a stretch?
Yes. It is.

Claire Danes successfully fills out Temple's western shirts and dungarees with raw emotion and boundless charm.

This film is remarkable in very many ways. First is that Temple Grandin is a real person with real autism who is really remarkable. Secondly, Temple's accomplishments are not things that you or I take for granted. Few could do what she does. She doesn't catch up, she excels. Lastly, we watch from Temple's perspective, we feel what she feels. The POV makes her, in every way, our equal. So, this is no Forrest Gump, Rainman or Simple Jack.

Temple Grandin harnessed the unique abilities autism bestowed on her to revolutionize the cattle industry. She was blessed with not only her amazing mind, but a network of family, teachers and friends who compromise her safety net. Them, and a "squeeze machine".

The movie is fun, funny, touching and inspirational. The ways that the director and editor give us Temple's perspective is inventive and poetic. It's enjoyable and exceedingly watchable in a way most biopics can never hope to be. It will appeal to audiences of all ages.

HBO has shown itself to be no slouch when it comes to commissioning biopics. I thought they couldn't top Grey Gardens. I was wrong. Claire Danes has some awards coming her way for this one.
(More on Grey Gardens in the future. Two incredible movies about two of the most fascinating people you can imagine.)

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