Monday, May 26, 2014

Movie Monday - Rainman

Here is another installment about one of my favorite movies - you know, the kind you can watch over and over and over and it is as if you are watching it for the first time.

As mentioned before, many of my favorite movies include Tom Cruise and this is one of them

The 1988  film - Rain Man

This movie (released December 16, 1998) has 2 of my favorite actors, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, so right of the bat you know it is going to be a good movie.  It is about a guy, Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise), who is a driven Los Angeles yuppie that has a business importing Lamborghinis to resell to buyers who have already made down payments on them.   He needs to deliver the vehicles to impatient buyers in order to repay the loan he took out to buy the cars, but the EPA is holding the cars at the port due to the cars failing emissions regulations. Charlie directs an employee to lie to the buyers while he stalls his creditor.

In the meantime, he receives word that his very wealthy estranged father has passed away and left him something.  This could be the break Charlie needs because he needs money.  He and his beautiful Italian girlfriend, Susanna (Valeria Golino) fly out to Cincinnati to settle the estate.  Once there, he discovers he father didn't leave him his $3 million dollar estate, instead he left him a 1949 Buick Roadmaster, that was the cause of their estrangement (they had a fight over Charlie driving the car when he was younger) - it was his father's ironic gift to Charlie.  Charlie finds out that the $3 million dollars went to a trustee at a mental institution.  He go Wallbrook institution and meets with the trustee, who is a friend of his dad's and a doctor - his BROTHER'S doctor.  This is a shock to Charlie because he had no idea he had a brother.  His brother is Raymond (Dustin Hoffman)

It turns out that Raymond has autism and is known as an idiot savant (in other words, he is brilliant in certain skills but can't function in a normal life).  For instance, he can tell you what 6,284 times 9,614 is in a matter of a minute but he thinks that a car cost about $1 and a candy bar cost about $1 - he doesn't know the difference.

Charlie decides to takes Raymond off the grounds and decides to hold him to get at least 1/2 of the $3 million dollars - almost kind of kidnaps him for ransom but he didn't do anything illegal by taking Raymond since it is his brother and Raymond is considered a "voluntary" patient.

Raymond is deathly afraid of planes and screams and pitches a fit so Susanna flies back to L.A. by herself and Raymond and Charlie set out driving in the Buick.

One morning they stop at a cafe and the waitress (played by Bonnie Hunt in what I think may have been her first movie role) drops a box of toothpicks.  Raymond takes one look at them and says there are 246 on the floor - she says the count is 300 but 4 are left in the box.  This is when Charlie begins to realize Raymond's unique skills.

As the movie progresses, Charlie gets more and more frustrated with Raymond's quirks and his need to watch The People's Court every-single-day.  However, one night, Charlie turns on the hot water to start a bath in an old hotel and Raymond freaks out !!  Then Charlie learns that the reason Raymond was sent away was because he burned Charlie in the bath tub when he was  baby and they sent him away to the institution because they thought he was a danger to Charlie, this is why Charlie never new he had a brother.  He also learns that Raymond use to sing "I Saw Her Standing There" by the Beatles to him at night - Charlie says he remembers the Rain Man coming into his room and singing that.  Then he realizes "Rain Man = Raymond" and finally puts two and two together.

He starts understanding Raymond a little more but he is still desparate for money.  He discovers Raymond can count cards so they go back to Las Vegas, which they had already driven through the night before, and Raymond gives him signals (bet 1 for bad 2 for good) and Charlie cleans up at the blackjack tables - gets enough money to cover his debts with the car deals.  The owners of the Casino ultimately tell them to leave - they know they are counting cards but don't know how they are doing it but the movie implies the are up to something illegal - which they are not.  Counting cards is legal, believe it or not.  It is just that most people can't do it - especially with 6 decks like in the movie.

When they get to L.A., he has decided that he wants custody of Raymond - yes, he'd like the money but it is more than that now.  He wants Raymond but the trustee and Raymond's doctor knows it is best for Raymond to be at Wallbrook so they get a mediator to decide.  In the end, Charlie comes to see that it is best for Raymond too, so he lets him (and the money) go.  They have a touching moment before Raymond leaves and Raymond tells Charlie that he is his main-man.  C-H-A-R-L-I-E main man.

He puts Raymond on a train (since he won't fly) along with Raymond's doctor and tells him that he will see him in 2 weeks, which lets us know that he continues to have a relationship with his brother, but he does what is best for him.

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor -  Dustin Hoffman
  • Best Director
  • Best Writing - Original Screenplay
  • Favorite Dramatic Motion Picture (People's Choice Awards)
  • Best Set Decoration
  • Best Cinematography (which it should have won!)
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Original Music Score (also should have won)
Reasons I love this movie 
  • Two of my favorite actors
  • Road Trip movie
  • Great filming locations
  • Great and Interesting Music (love, love the music in this movie)
  • Brotherly bonding
  • Hard-heart guy softens up and learns to love
Just writing this blog post makes me want to see the movie again and I just watched it 2 weeks ago!
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1 comment:

  1. Love, love, love this movie! Dustin Hoffman is amazing!
    I should watch this again soon!