Rain Man (1988)
IMDB Rating 8.0/10 133 min - Rated 15 Drama
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golina Director: Barry Levinson
When Charlie Babbit's (Cruise) father dies, he is left with more than he bargained for. In lieu of money or property, Charlie discovers instead that he has an older brother, Raymond (Hoffman) who he knew nothing about and who has been left the lion's share of the inheritance. The film plots the initial determination of Charlie to avail himself of his entitled share of his father's estate, but matters are complicated by the discovery that his brother is autistic and he must first learn how to communicate with him, gain his trust and try to understand him, before he can wheedle the fortune away from him. The brilliance of the film is borne out more in its simplicity than any daring attempts at boundary breaking. For the most part, the audience and Charlie are simultaneously learning about Raymond's condition, becoming by turn shocked, amazed and distressed by the intricacies of this hitherto little understood affliction. The irony occurs when it becomes apparent that Raymond has no appreciation of money and, from Charlie's perspective at least, this means he has no use for his inheritance. However, as they travel across the country together, a mutual understanding does develop between the two men and with it, a brotherly bond begins to emerge, putting a slight damper on Charlie's plan to simply relieve Raymond of his fortune. Dustin Hoffman takes character acting to a new level in this film and the rapport between the two leads is the ultimate secret of its success.