Monday, September 27, 2010
On DVD: Temple Grandin
If the HBO film, Temple Grandin, had simply been about a woman dealing with her autism during a time when the condition wasn't understood very well, this would have been a compelling story. Likewise, if the movie had simply been about a woman trying to break into the heavily male-dominated cattle industry in the 1970's and 80's, that would have been compelling, too. Amazingly, though, the movie is about both of these things, making it especially rich and interesting.
Everyone in the film is great, but Claire Danes as Temple is especially excellent, delivering a strong, detailed portrayal, but never overplaying or letting the performance drift over into mere mimicry. Also pleasures are the fine, understated performances of Julia Ormond, Catherine O'Hara, and David Strathairn, as Temple's mother, aunt, and a favorite teacher.
Temple Grandin looks sharp and clean on the standard DVD I watched. There's a short but interesting "making of" piece on the DVD, too, as well as a commentary track. Both feature the real-life Temple Grandin, who's still an active force on the world stage.
Give this one a whirl if you want both your head and your heart stimulated.