Cast- Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Hoffman), Best Original Screenplay, Best Director
Charlie Babbitt is a selfish car dealer who needs money fast. When his estranged father dies he heads back to Ohio for the reading of the will. Only Charlie wasn’t left with any money. When he discovers the wealth was left to someone else he tracks them down. What he finds is an autistic brother he never knew about. Still miffed about the money he kidnaps him and the two begin a cross-country journey that won’t leave either one of them the same.
Why I love it- The two powerhouse performances stand out in this beautiful story of redemption. Hoffman may have won the Oscar for his superb acting, but Cruise was also impressive. These two made an already sharp script shine. Hoffman is heartbreaking and heartwarming as Raymond and Cruise’s Charlie has such a transformation that it leaves you rooting for him when you hated him two hours before. I liked watching Charlie come to understand Raymond and with that came the love of a brother he never knew he needed.
This was autism before everyone knew what autism was. It is a look at the love and value an autistic person has, when often those things are overlooked. You can’t help but fall in love with Raymond. There is such a beauty and humor in this film that it makes it hard to forget. I loved when Raymond made his first joke. What could have been a depressing movie came to life with a sharp wit and great writing.