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Dustin Hoffman's performance as Raymond Babbitt is,bar none,the best acting performance I have ever seen.I have never seen an actor get so deeply immersed in a character than Hoffman does in this film.He is excellent here,and he deserved nothing less than the Oscar he won for it.As for Tom Cruise,his performance as Raymond's childish and hotheaded brother is also worthy of note.To watch his character slowly shed his ignorance throughout the course of the film was indeed a delight.If you have not seen it,don't deprive yourself any longer.Buy it.It's a keeper.
I have seen this movie probably 7 or 8 times in the past three years, wrote a paper about it for my college film class last semester, and basically regard it as my favorite movie of all time. Where to begin with the praise for this movie? Let's start with the acting. Dustin Hoffman is my favorite actor, and has been for a while. I'd watch him in any role. I was amazed at the way he was able to pull off this role. I've never seen a more deserved Oscar win. The vacant stare, the monotone voice, the screaming, it was unbelievable. Each time I watch it I am floored by his talent. Tom Cruise is also good, the villain of the story who undergoes such a subtle change that it's almost not visible until nearly the end. He is, however, perfectly suited for the flashy, egotistical character of Charlie, and I think he did a great job. The directing was unobtrusive and beautiful, for the most part just letting the action unfold, which is exactly the way it should have been done. It's a feel-good movie that does that and more, and I think nothing I've seen in the movies is as touching as the scene in the motel where Charlie discovers who "Rain Man" really is. I give this movie a 9.5 out of 10. Absolutely wonderful.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Barry Levinson is one of the great screen directors of our time. He's
most notable for being able to evoke subtly comedic discussions amongst
his leading characters, save the rare occasion when his strained
efforts backfire ("Toys" comes to mind). "Rain Man" (1988) is his
crowning effort, his best achievement I can think of off-hand. It's
considered a drama but it's also a true odd couple comedy, about two
opposites who learn they have one common bond: their kinship.
The Cruise plays Charlie Babbitt, a wealthy car dealer living the high life in California. He's just gotten in a shipment of Ferraris and he's going to make a killing on an upcoming deal for all of them, when his entire background comes back to haunt him in a single unfortunate moment during his newly acquired and quite happy life.
Charlie's father has just died, leaving him an old sports car and rose bushes. But more painful than the fact that his father has died or that he was left simply with a car and some prize-winning rosebushes is the fact that Charlie had tried to put his ill-fated past behind him, and now it has caught up with him again. He has to face the reality of his father once again.
This isn't really evident the first time you watch the movie. Charlie is angered at the fact that he got nothing more than some bushes and a vehicle, sure, but he admits he expected nothing more. What really angers him is that he has to face his father, dead or alive, once more; either through faded memories or by the realization that he is now dead and their friendship was never repaired.
When Charlie finds out that his father's entire estate has been left to a single trustee, he schemes around and unmasks who the trustee really is -- his older brother he never knew he had, Raymond Babbitt (Hoffman), who lives in a homey mental institute and quotes the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello "Who's on first?" charade when he gets nervous.
Charlie confronts his brother, who seems as though he doesn't recognize him. And in a moment of weakness, Charlie kidnaps his brother from his home, drives him back to California, and attempts to squeeze the money out of Raymond, who has no holding on the concept of money at all.
Despite his lack of understanding regarding monetary value, Raymond is an idiot savant, and Charlie takes advantage of Raymond's mathematical skills by taking him to Las Vegas to count cards. After achieving a fortune they are thrown out of the casinos and left to face charges of kidnapping. The problem is, by the time it's all over, Charlie has formed an odd sort of bond with his brother. Long after the laughs settle the emotional impact of the story sinks in.
The ending is the sort of rare conclusion that brings tears to the eyes. Throughout the film, Charlie is an arrogant, ignorant, greedy businessman who cares of no one but himself. By the end, however, he has learned more than he has in his entire lifetime from the brother he never had. And unlike a lot of the buddy films out there, we get to see the bonding between Charlie and his big brother, Raymond, form on a daily basis, until it is brought to a standstill.
Dustin Hoffman gives his best performance in "Rain Man," one of such unmatched strength and brilliance that we often feel that we are really watching an autistic man on screen. Raymond Babbitt is one of the most memorable characters you will ever encounter as a viewer, and though Dustin Hoffman isn't necessarily a favorite actor of mine, I place his performance in "Rain Man" as one of the most convincing and touching performances of all time.
Trying to put the reason that "Rain Man" is so great into words is simply impossible. It's got everything. And as humorous as Raymond Babbitt becomes, he never seems unreal or obnoxious. As I watch him every time I watch the movie, I completely forget Dustin Hoffman is playing him until I mentally remark on how well he is doing so. This is movie magic, folks.
Hollywood has a fascination with characters like Forrest Gump and Raymond Babbitt, but -- even more so than Gump -- Raymond is never annoying. (That's not saying that Gump is, but...Raymond is even more touching and realistic.) Raymond is a fair bit more impaired than Forrest, and we feel for him even more (though which is the better film I could never say).
By all means, see this movie. Drop whatever you're doing and rent it, buy it, watch it over and over. It's amazing. I don't care if I sound like a mainstream critic trying to get my quotes on the new Special Edition box of the DVD (yes, please!), I love this movie and I can't say enough good things about it.
I have to say that this is Tom and Dustin's best performances by far. They
are such a wonderful duo together. I love seeing how Tom reacts to Dustin's
character. Two brothers, one being successful and the other mentally
challenged, are finally reunited. They both learn how to live with each
other and eventually learn to love each other. As for a best picture, I
wasn't too sure. But the actors will impress you. I would recommend this
movie to anyone. It has wonderful characters and some great laughs. But also
some very touching moments. You really have to like this movie. It's too
memorable to miss.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an excellent film. Rain Man incorporates moving drama, timeless scenery and unbelievable performances from Dustin Hoffman and even Tom Cruise who up to this point in film history was known for typical chick flicks or films in which his potential was not shown, even the color of money couldn't make him look like any kind of decent actor. Yet in Rain Man he isn't bad, but I suppose it is very clear and easy to say that Dustin acts him off the screen. The screen is a simple tale of brotherly love. Dustin plays Raymond "The Rain Man" Babbitt, the long lost, supposedly autistic brother of Charlie Babbitt (Cruise). As Charlie finds out he has a brother never revealed to him by his father he feels let down and betrayed, and even more so that now his father is dead and leaving his estate, to the value of $3.000.000 to his brother, and not to himself. So Charlie in his situation decides to take Raymond away from the medical institution he was left in, and goes on a huge road trip, not willing to give his brother up, unless the institutes settles his share of his father's assets. But as this slow but intriguing film goes on, the bonds get stronger, and you can see the devotion settling in around them as they establish some common ground. And so when the end of the film comes and the brothers are ripped apart, even though really you know they should be allowed to unite it is extremely saddening. The end scene is particularly good, and very emotional, and the fact Barry Levinson has made characters the audience can genuinely care for, it means that the overall effect on the viewers is elevated to a whole new and amazing degree. It is brilliant. Don't deny this film it's worth because of technicalities and the fact it doesn't relay the correct message, and praise the quality of its creation. Which is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best and most touching film productions to ever grace the screen.
RAIN MAN (1988) **** Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golina, Bonnie
Hunt. My all time favorite contemporary film.
Brilliant Oscar-winning Best Picture film about quick-tempered exotic car salesman Charlie Babbitt (superlatively played by Cruise) who finds himself bilked out of his estranged father's inheritance and discovering an older brother, Raymond, (Hoffman flawlessly brilliant, Best Actor), an institutionalized autistic savant, and 'kidnaps' him in their dad's Buick Roadmaster for a cross-country odyssey of self-reflection and genuine sibling bonding. Poignant, funny, and moving character study with expert direction by Barry Levinson (Best Director and appears as a mental health envoy). Ethereally Oscar nominated haunting score by Hans Zimmer. Best scene: Cruise learning why Hoffman was "sent away." Life-affirming.
It is something of a great cinematic achievement that Rain Man became
the great film it clearly is because the story surrounding it is
interestingly Hollywood in itself.
Four directors, six screenwriters, two cinematographers, eight producers, writers strikes, crew change, and a studio fighting for its life.
All of the above are common knowledge but it doesn't hurt to remember these facts when viewing the award wining triumph of a movie that stands the test of time today. The film is so simple in structure it really needed something special to pull it out of the prospective banality of being "just another road movie about finding oneself", Rain Man achieves something special by tackling its subjects with very sensitive hands and splicing a believable human concept into the story via the incredible shows from its two leading men.
Dustin Hoffman gives a magical moving performance as the Autistic Savant Raymond, the ultimate complement I can pay the performance is that it really is believable, both moving and clever rolled into one artistic result. Tom Cruise is equally as great in a role that called for drastic layer changes, a role that demanded much conviction from the actor taking it on, and Cruise gives the role much depth as he goes from shallow bastard to a very emotive and feeling human being, it's a great show that stands up to reevaluation these days. A performance that seems to have sadly been forgotten in light of Hoffman's film stealing show. With a film such as this you pray that the ending can do it justice, and I'm glad to say that there is no pandering here, it's an ending that says so much because it doesn't cop out, I thank god for those rewrites because the endings to the original scripts would of had me booting the TV set out of the window.
Essential cinema. 10/10
Rain Man is a moving story about two brothers, one a selfish yuppie
named Charlie Babbitt who cares only about the importance of money and
the other named Raymond who is a autistic and doesn't know anything
about the importance of money. Charlie realizes that his father left
three million dollars to Raymond and little to him, as he also realizes
Raymomd is his brother! Charlie kidnaps Raymond from his residential
home and begins a long journey and discovery that will forever change
both their lives. Rain Man is a completely moving, emotional, funny,
and unforgettable movie. Dustin Hoffman is one of my favorite actors
and plays his most memorable role as well as Tom Cruise, who gives a
great performance that helped a lot in launching most of his career.
The direction by Barry Levinson is stunning and of course, his best
yet. Overall, the film is a timeless classic that moves me in every
way. This is definitely one of the best films of the 80's and one of my
all time favorites. Yea, definitely, definitely, recommend it!
Hedeen's Outlook: 10/10 **** A+
Tom Cruise stars as a used car salesman, who is angry when his father's
inheritance is left to his older autistic brother (Dustin Hoffman),
whose existence had not been revealed to him.
The film is built around its two assured central performances. Hoffman gives an excellent portrayal of a man with autism, totally unable to comprehend the real world around him. Cruise is no less impressive. While he is essentially playing to type, his character's attitude changes so gradually throughout the film that you barely notice, and without Cruise's subtle performance this transformation would be much less credible.
This is a highly commendable film, which, despite tackling a tricky subject, refuses to succumb to sentimentality. In giving autism such publicity, the film has hopefully helped to lessen the stigma brought on by ignorance of this condition.
Rain Man's great success is that it shows the way forward for issue driven movies in Hollywood. Its success at the box office demonstrates that taking a risk can pay off in spades, provided that the film is good enough.
I was thinking of the way different movies seem to be good. Some have lots of action, others a bunch of special-effects. But then it strikes you, that what represents real depth, real quality is when a movie can be good without those features. When it's the dialogue, the story and the acting that strikes you. This film has really only two characters, all others play only minor roles (Cruise's girlfriend has some importance though). Two characters basically, and one dialogue - that's all you need when you've got a script as good as this, and two such great actors. Only that is brilliant. But this film also has such fine, very true episodes, small stories in the larger film. One example is when Ray watches court TV with the working class woman and her many children out in the countryside...it's such a fine picture, just outstanding. ALL IN ALL A GREAT FILM!
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