A selfish man learns he has an older brother who is severely autistic,
and forges a relationship with him when he drives him across the country.
Rain Man (1988)
Directed by Barry Levinson
Written by Ronald Bass and Barry Morrow
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino,
Gerald R. Molen, Michael D. Roberts, Ralph Seymour
Oscar Wins - Best Picture, Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman),
Best Director, Best Original Screenplay
Oscar Nominations - Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction,
Best Film Editing, Best Original Score (Hans Zimmer)
Rain Man is a sad film above all, mostly because our hero is a selfish prick who kidnaps his autistic secret brother from a mental hospital with the intention of trading him for the inheritance he feels he's owed. Sure, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) learns the value of family along the way, but he mistreats his brother Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) quite severely during the first half of the film. But after that, things quiet down a little as Charlie realizes Raymond is the only family he has left, and a relationship starts to form between them. Or at least, a one-sided one.
Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star in this 1980's Best Picture winner that is a decent film overall, though it does feel like its not really going anywhere at times. The saving grace is Hoffman's turn as Raymond Babbitt, one of the most transformative performances in history and one truly deserving of Best Actor. It's nothing short of incredible and it makes this film worth watching. Cruise is great too, though his character is such a selfish bastard at times, so much so that it's hard to relate.
Rain Man tells a simple yet complex story about a man learning he has a brother that his estranged father never told him about. Not only that, but Dad has left his substantial estate to that brother. Charlie's need to screw over his father is what drives this film, but his need to care about someone overtakes it. The film is sweet, a little depressing, and considerably anticlimactic, though it became clear in the last half hour that this wasn't going to end in Charlie's favor. I know this review sounds fairly negative, and I did take issue with some of the convenient character development and the sudden ending, but the performances are fantastic and the film is iconic for a reason. It's a good watch.