11: Rain Man

This week, we’re taking a swing at Oscar credibility with Barry Levinson’s 1988 movie Rain Man. Does the film treat its subject matter well? How badly has it aged? Can Cruise hold his own opposite a heavy-hitter like Hoffman?

Content warning: insensitive language related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, brief mentions of sex work

Unanswered Questions:

  • How has the depiction of ASD changed in the thirty-five years since Rain Man? To what degree can we credit Rain Man with that change?
  • How effective is Hoffman’s method approach to playing Raymond?
  • Does the somewhat unfocused, shaggy-dog middle of the film improve the overall effect, or detract from its emotional impact?

Further reading:

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Join us next time as we close out the ’80s and discuss Oliver Stone’s 1989 anti-war biopic Born on the Fourth of July.

The Last Star In Hollywood is an independent podcast produced by Elizabeth Rae and Alastair Stephens.

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