Sunday, February 13, 2011

Temple Grandin (2010), a movie review

Temple Grandin is a made-for-TV movie worthy of an Academy Award! This is an unusually inspiring story based on the life of a real person. It is a powerful dramatic presentation. Temple is the name of an autistic girl who grows up to her full potential in life despite numerous obstacles. It is the saga of intense parental love, of a deeply devoted and caring teacher and one determined soul, Temple herself.

My sister was visiting me from out of state this weekend and purchased this DVD for me. It was everything she said it was and more. We first went to a video rental store to borrow the film, but both copies were rented out. Next we tried a big box electronic store, no luck. Then we tried a large discount department store, that is where we hit a bulls eye.

I watched the movie this afternoon. In the sixties autism was pretty much newly identified as a problem. The best advice that the doctors offered Temple’s mother was institutionalization. However, Temple’s mother refused to give up on her daughter. She apparently did her best to teach her at home initially. Temple did attend public school. However, she was relentlessly taunted by her schoolmates. It was at the boarding school to which her insistent, yet exasperated mother finally sent her. It was at this boarding school where Temple was challenged and encouraged by one especially caring, concerned and inspirational teacher.

It was this science teacher who saw the special qualities and potential of this autistic young woman. In fact, he eventually encouraged her even pursue college.

The science teacher portrayed in the movie made me think of another science teacher here in Ohio, John Freshwater. Mr. Freshwater was a caring and devoted teacher, beloved by his students. His reward? He was terminated from his job because he had a bible on his desk and that he may have taught that there was an alternative to evolution! This is how good teachers are treated in 2011!

She also had supportive relatives, where Temple spent her summers on their cattle ranch. On the ranch she discovered her gift and love for animals. This led her to pursue college level work in animal science. She eventually earned a bachelor and a master degree.

The movie shows the great potential in any and every human being in which the Creator has endowed with unique gifts and abilities. One key principle was this autistic person was different but not less human or less valuable than anyone else.


I give this movie ***** out of *****. The acting was superb. Claire Danes accurately captured Temple Grandin, according to Temple. Julia Ormond played Temple's devoted mother realistically and respectfully. 

Overall, the movie is hopeful, inspirational and offers a clear demonstration of the power of love and purpose. It also offers an insight into the wisdom and blessed design of God for nature and for His highest creation, man.

I highly recommend without reservation.

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