Dustin Hoffman (Raymond Babbitt), Tom
Cruise (Charlie Babbitt), Valeria Golino (Susanna), Jerry Molen (Dr. Bruner), Jack Murdock (John Mooney), Michael Roberts (Vern), Ralph Seymour (Lenny), Lucinda Jenney (Iris), Bonnie
Hunt (Sally Dibbs)
Possibly the most well-known Hollywood mainstream picture
to deal with the subject of autism and it does a fantastic job with it's source material.
The film was the biggest box office success of 1988, went
on to win the Oscar for Best Picture and is amongst the biggest films of the decade. It all works particularly well due to the performances and partnership of Tom Cruise and (especially)
Dustin Hoffman. Credit also belongs to director Barry Levinson, who never allows the pace of the film to drag or become overly sentimental or unconvincing.
Tom Cruise plays arrogant, egotistical and avaricious car
salesman Charlie Babbitt, who, upon hearing of his father's death, becomes incensed that he's been left a pittance of the inheritance while the majority goes to an unnamed heir who Charlie
soon discovers is his autistic brother who he has little to no memory of.
Charlie abducts his brother and the two journey on a road
trip from Baltimore to California where the animosity and resentment between them transforms into patience, understanding and brotherly love and the two develop a deep emotional bond and
close-knit relationship against the odds, even sweeping up on the Black Jack tables in a stopover in Vegas due to Raymond's mathematical genius and eidetic memory.
A must-watch movie, not only for educational enrichment,
but also for its dramatic narrative focusing on the growing relationship between two long-lost family members.