Friday, April 17, 2009

Movie #102 - Rain Man

No tagline available.

It's weird that a movie does not have a tagline associated with it, especially one that won the Best Picture Oscar in 1988. This movie marks the beginning of Tom Cruise's pursuit of the elusive Oscar award. Unfortunately, Cruise's role was grossly overshadowed by the performance of Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Babbitt.

For those who haven't seen this film, it's a great dramatic movie from the Barry Levinson resume and one of those late 80's films that you enjoy watching for different aspects. I enjoy watching this film because Hoffman completely immerses himself into the character. Cruise fits into his role perfectly as the deceptive younger brother trying to take advantage of his mentally challenged older brother Raymond. Cruise was just coming off his popularity from Top Gun and a strong supporting role in this film boosted his stock in the early 90's, which Cruise wasn't able to translate into any significant hardware or respect in the industry.

In the end, the real treat to watch in this film is the performance of Hoffman. Although Hoffman only has a handful of great fulls in his repertoire, this is one of them. He captivates the audience and is deserving of his Oscar win for that year. Unfortunately, Hoffman has slowly fallen into the habit of doing money grabs or puff pieces in recent years, rarely taking a role that takes advantage of his acting prowess. We miss the stellar roles from Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie, The Graduate, and Midnight Cowboy. These have been sadly replaced by mediocre films such as the Meet the Parents/Fockers franchise, where a new sequel is in production for 2011 release.