Do you know what makes me sick? My husbands vast knowledge of random trivia facts. Especially movie trivia. Do you remember the game Scene It? Bobby ruined that game for everyone.
We were watching Jeopardy recently and the Final Jeopardy question was about, what else, Best Picture nominees. While not shushing me every two seconds for talking over Alex (I’m pretty sure this is Bobby’s second favorite pastime after nagging me to put the toilet paper back on the roll), he managed to get the right answer to: “Which film was the first Best Picture nominee to be produced by an online streaming service?” 🙄 It’s Manchester by the Sea, if you were wondering.
So going back to the title of this blog, I’m obviously mostly hopeless when it comes to movie trivia, unlike my better (at trivia) half. “I think you’re confusing Rain Man with Michael,” Bobby responded. And damn if he wasn’t right on the money…
BPW #61 — Rain Man — 1988 — Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise
“What you have to understand is, four days ago he was only my brother in name. And this morning we had pancakes.” Charlie Babbitt.
Bobby: 4 out of 5 stars
Niki: 4 out of 5 stars
Bobby’s Blurb: “Ugh. What do I usually give for blurbs? Okay…I’d watch Dustin Hoffman narrate paint drying if he did it as spectacularly as he played Rain Man.”
I agree that Dustin Hoffman did a spectacular job in this movie. He won Best Actor for his role, too, portraying the autistic savant Raymond Babbitt. Tom Cruise played Raymond’s brother, Charlie, and kind of annoyed me to death. That’s not unexpected, though. I’m not a fan.
The most interesting aspect of Rain Man, for me, was its treatment of mental illness. Charlie only finds out that he has a brother when his father dies, leaving him a paltry inheritance while the remainder of the estate was put into a trust for distribution to some mystery patient at a psychiatric institution. It turns out that this mystery patient is actually Charlie’s brother, Raymond, who has been institutionalized for most of his life. The movie’s big focus is on the developing relationship between the brothers as Charlie struggles with Raymond’s unusual behavior and Raymond has to navigate life outside of the insular institution he’s accustomed to.
Honestly, I was stunned by Charlie’s almost automatic inability to accept Raymond’s mental illness and how totally ignorant he was of autism in general. But almost thirty years ago the study of autism was really only just beginning. Autism wasn’t added to the DSM as a diagnosed mental disorder until 1980 (at that time being labeled “Infantile Autism” in order to differentiate it from Schizophrenia) and was then replaced with “Autistic Disorder” in 1987. It is now officially referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder in the DSM-V (2013).
The movies treatment of this disorder and the characters perceptions of it were likely a good reflection of how the general public felt about (or lacked education about) autism at the time the film was made, but was a shock to me in our age of increasing research and acceptance of mental disorders.
I also really enjoyed the dynamic between Charlie and Raymond and thought the actor’s did a good job of relating the emotions of their growing and changing relationship. One of my favorite scene’s was when Raymond farts in a phone booth that the brothers are both crammed in to, which apparently happened by accident and the actors just went with it. By the end of the movie I almost felt sorry for Tom Cruise’ character despite his many faults and had forgiven his original motivation for taking Raymond across country, which was to gain access to some portion of his brother’s new inheritance.
Overall, I would recommend giving it a chance. I’m going to have to fire my bartender for lack of a drink to go with this movie though.
Here’s a project I tackled last May (I think, but may have been August…) for my three nieces that were going off to college. It’s my first foray into applique of a sort and I think turned out pretty well. I need to check with them to see how they’re holding up though. I don’t have a super lot of faith in the longevity of the appliques sticking to fleece, but I have no experience to back this up. The blankets themselves are just tied and I cut the letters out of regular quilting fabric. I used interfacing behind the quilting fabric and made templates to trace the letters onto that, then cut everything out with very sharp scissors (which got sticky and disgusting as result, FYI). I tried cutting the letters first on my sister-in-laws devil machine (otherwise known as a *Silhouette*) with disastrous results, so I’m pretty impressed with how good these look considering it’s all by hand. Regarding the Silhouette: yes, I did use a fabric blade. And no, I do not know how to use the machine, hence disaster.