HBO’s Temple Grandin, an Emmy-winning biopic

Claire Danes as Temple Grandin

Watched the DVD of Temple Grandin over the weekend. A biopic, it reminded me initially of A Beautiful Mind, Ron Howard’s bio movie of John Nash starring Russell Crowe. It seemed, however, more heartfelt? Perhaps having something to do with the focus on a young person trying to find herself in the world – so it is a rising up rather than a falling apart (of someone who had already made it) as in the case of A Beautiful Mind.

Filmmakers using the medium to really tell the story, with mathematical animations (I think Beautiful Mind had these too) and stills montages of thinking processes were helpful in understanding autism – as explained in the movie, understanding the world from pictures, not from language.

The HBO television movie won a bunch of Emmys, including best TV movie, best actress for Claire Danes, best supporting for David Strathairn and Julia Ormond, and best director for Mick Jackson. I know it’s a hard sell – watch this movie about a gangly autistic girl who loves farm animals and designs slaughterhouses – but it’s really very good. I’ve loved Claire since the days of My So-Called Life, and David Strathairn and Julia Ormond are treasures.

One thing I would have loved seen explored is the whole idea of whether or not raising beef for food is a good idea at all – it’s taken as a given by the characters in the movie, which is a period piece (although a recent period). As a near vegetarian and avid reader of Michael Pollan, it’s hard not to think of this when watching all these cows.

Go rent the movie or watch it on HBO. It’s pretty wonderful.


~ by jimarnoldla on September 28, 2010.

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