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Temple Grandin

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Many productions have been filmed in Hollywood that everyone knows about, has seen, and loves; examples being Titanic, Casablanca, Avatar, etc. However there are so many movies that are so brilliant and never become well known and one of them is Temple Grandin. I have never seen a movie so moving, well executed and with impeccable acting as this one.

The main element that made this production so great is the moving and inspiring storyline. A woman with autism named Temple Grandin who was diagnosed with autism as a young child grew up in the wrong time period when the symptoms and side effects of the disability. Doctors knew early that Temple was “not right” in the head and suggested to her parents that she should be placed in a mental hospital. They refused. One summer in her teenaged years she went on a vacation to a relative’s dairy farm with surroundings that were completely and utterly unfamiliar and frightening. Because of this, she rarely spoke, and stayed in the cows’ corral. She would quietly observe their behavior and took particular interest in her family’s methods of injecting the cows and milking them and such. They would be herded into a narrow corral that led them to a “squeezing machine” that calmed them so they were able to be injected. Temple’s autism caused her to have social disorders, but she had a very inventive, genius mind. The first summer at the farm ended and Temple was itching to return, so she did every chance she could. Eventually, it was time for Temple to go to college; another unfamiliar, frightening place packed with assuming strangers. She was agitated and upset extremely easily, and had no relief from those emotions. One day, she recalled the “squeezing machine” and decided to invent one for herself and other people. When she completed her work, it was very effective in calming and causing her to relax, and she was very proud. Her roommate, however, was disturbed and terrified of the creation and complained to the headmaster. He talked to Temple, her mother, and a few other important faces about it. Temple was interrogated, but her invention was wrongly interpreted as to be used for sexual pleasure rather than the comfort of a hug. Temple was also asked to speak about her autism to parents with autistic children. She spoke from her own experiences and from the heart, and became an instant hero to everyone in the room. Soon after, she paid a visit to the local slaughterhouse. At first, she wasn’t even allowed in because she was female, but after countless attempts she snuck in and was appalled as to what met her eyes. The conditions were horrible for the cattle, with fences that spooked them, slippery surfaces, and sudden declines. Soon, she came up with a new system that included smoothly winding fences so that the cattle still feel as if they are in a herd, grooves for traction, slow declines, and padded fences. Eventually, the word was spread about her ingenious blueprints and she immediately became a well-known figure in the agricultural world. Her methods are still being used today. This is an example that proves that anything is possible if you persevere and believe.

The next two reasons that this film is spectacular intertwine and lead into one another. This film was well executed, and no questions were left unanswered. Flashbacks and blueprints would flicker across the screen when Temple would have been reminded of something or when her mind started to create something. It gave an insight as to how the producer perceived Temple’s mind. You felt the heartbreak and joy that the characters felt, cried when they cried, and were inspired by every scene. This leads to the next point, the impeccable acting. Claire Danes starred as Temple in the movie and did an extremely impressive job at playing a difficult role. Her facial expressions and body language allowed you to believe for a moment that it was real, and that was what she was actually feeling. It appeared natural and seamless, which added to the overwhelming effect of feeling that you were actually there while it was transpiring.

Like many films that have been considered great, Temple Grandin is a moving story that touches one in all the right places; enough to make them laugh, cry, and smile. It makes people stop and think about how they perceive people and how they treat them. Even though Temple’s story isn’t as well known as the Titanic’s, it’s still a brilliant one with moving plots, amazing acting, and beautiful execution. This story will stay with me for many years to come, and I believe that is the reason why I consider it one of, if not the best, movie I have ever seen.





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Teen Mom said...
Feb. 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm
thanks so much for sharing your insights!  I wanted to know if this film would be appropriate and educational for high school juniors, so I really appreciate your perspective.  We look forward to watching it because of your review!
 
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