Hollywood Autism 1988

I can’t watch Rain Man all the way through. I want to because I’d like to see them in Vegas but I’ve watched it with two stops and still I’m only an hour and a quarter in to it.

Is it just harder to watch an asshole character kidnap an autistic character in 2014 than it was in 1988?

The most amazing thing about the movie is the distance between us and it. At one point a doctor says of Raymond (Dustin Hoffmann): “He’s pretty high functioning. Most autistics, they can’t speak, they can’t communicate.” Just before that, Charlie fills out a form and when a nurse reads it she says: “He’s artistic?” When Charlie corrects her, she says: “I’m not familiar with that.”

I suppose we have to assume that no one was back then, and that’s why Charlie has to keep telling people to speak in plain fucking English whenever they try to explain autism to him.

Can you bear the conclusion, the two men making each other better people? I can’t. Even if that’s not the ending – I can’t remember if it is – the whole movie is running that way, and it stinks.

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