Skip to main content

Piece #55 - Asperger Movies and Television

I know I will be writing a different posting on movies in general later on, but my goal here is to talk about autism in the media and how Asperger's is used in movies and television. I have seen several movies and television shows that directly address autism in their performances, but I honestly haven't seen them all. I think the best way to tackle this is by addressing the movies first and then finishing out with television. I think Hollywood is trying to do the right thing, but like most media in Hollywood...they don't always get it right. (I think in some way they are a little out of touch with reality.)

 By far the best film I've seen is "Mary and Max" because it is based on a true story. It was done in Claymation, but the content is excellent. It's the story of two people who strike up an exchange of letters between them. Mary is from Australia and Max is from New York City. Mary first simply inquires about what it's like in America and Max with his Asperger's tries to describe it the only way he knows how...through his eyes. Eventually, Mary starts to understand Max's condition and tries to help get a better grasp on him personally more than simply knowing about America; it comes to a point where Mary ends up coming to America to wanting to meet Max.

I did see the movie "Adam" and I came into the movie with high hopes of a great story with a great message like "Mary and Max", but I was actually disappointed. At first the relationship between Adam and a female neighbor who is a teacher seems to make an interesting connection until everything goes south. I think the thing that bothered me the most was the acting from the person who played Adam. His personality seemed inconsistent because at first he would show the 'real' Asperger persona, but in other cases he seemed to come across as simply 'mentally challenge' and I mean REALLY challenged! And the ending seemed rather weak and the writer didn't know how to 'end' the story. There have been much better performances than what I saw in this movie.

On television, there have been several shows that in some form or another address Asperger's. I don't believe there too many reoccurring roles in the shows. A few I can think of would be from the "Big Bang Theory", "Monk", and actually any Sherlock Holmes material. My daughters really enjoy the "Big Bang Theory". Of course I don't know all of them or the movies for that matter, but these are ones I have personally seen and I think the television shows have done an excellent job in depicting the aspie roles.

"Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is a great movie from what I've heard from my wife, but I haven't seen much of the movie myself. She thought they did a great job of portraying the boy in the 9-11 movie with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. Tom's character was able to talk to his son with his Asperger's, but Sandra's character had a more difficult time dealing with her son after a death in the family.

There is one more movie I would like to tip my hat to and I wanted to save it for last...and that is "Temple Grandin" staring Claire Danes. I have seen this movie and I have to say it really set the bar really high! Of course, it's the true story of Dr. Temple Grandin and how she was growing up and dealing with this unknown disorder that no one knew for a long time. It shows how she was able to pick up on how animal were thinking and reacting to situations that no one else was able to do. She observed several animals, but most of them were cattle. From that experience, she was able to go on to college and get her doctorate in animal science. Dr. Grandin teaches at Colorado State University and tours around the United Stated talking about everything from animal science to Asperger's Syndrome.

There is another reason why I bring up this movie and why I like it so much...because my daughters and I got to meet her personally at a convention hosted by Future Horizons. Dr. Grandin specially asked to see my twin daughters so we weren't going to turn that down!!! Technically we had 5 minutes to speak with her, but it turned into 20 minutes! She had some very good things to say to the girls. Mainly she told them to keep moving forward and try to excel at what they like to do. She told me to keep holding on the teaching position that I currently have because she said that aspies like us have a horrible time holding on to jobs. It's always interesting to be in the middle of several people with Asperger's having a discussion because I felt a little like a referee. I would have to add bits of detail for Temple whenever the twins told her anything. Overall, it was great hearing her talk to the girls about several different things. She did have a message to all the educators out there; she said that students are not engaging themselves. The rise in video games have hurt the momentum of any child that should be going out and making something of themselves rather than gluing themselves to the Xbox. She basically encouraged my daughters to keep moving forward and not giving up. It really was amazing how insightful and ambitious as she was to the girls.

Song of Inspiration [Check it out on iTunes or Android!]:

Song: "Be Somebody"

Artist: Thousand Foot Krutch

Album: The End Is Where We Begin

This is a special look at the HBO movie "Temple Grandin". I would encourage to see the film.

This is music video (Lyrics) the song "Be Somebody"

Here is Temple Grandin with Christen and Sarah. I felt fortunate that we had this special chance to meet her one on one.

Popular posts from this blog

Piece #110 - My Complex Discernment of Concrete versus Abstract

I very rarely start off any of my blog entries with a picture but, this photo will illustrate a rather compelling discussion about my Asperger brain. I can't think of a better example of just how complicated a small part of concrete versus abstract is processed in my mind. I will do my best to sort out the complete meaning behind this picture. There will be several odd turns but, stick with me because this will actually make sense in the if my wife gets it then we're good!
Defining Terms:
Completeness - The state or condition of having all the necessary or appropriate parts. Uniform - Identical or consistent, as from example to example, place to place or moment to moment. Commonality - The state of sharing features or attributes.
The first area I want to address is uniform. Of course, I'm not talking about an outfit; I'm talking about consistency; the idea that flows smoothly from the top to the bottom. I guess a good example is like looking at a baseball card, a…

Broken Piece #2 - Susan Boyle

For those of you who are not sure who is Susan Boyle, she was the second place winner to the show "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009. She sang the famous song from LesMis√©rables "I Dreamed the Dream". Since the show, Susan had been making guest appearances on a variety of shows and recorded several albums. Susan's first album alone broke several chart-records and was very well received around the world. I believe why she had such incredible appeal was because she was a perfect representative of all the 'regular people' in the world. She didn't come in flashy or striking but, modest and humble. When a person like Susan is thrown into the whirlwind of concerts, parties, media, and money, it's very difficult to stay grounded and not having your own personal world torn apart. Sadly for Susan Boyle, her tiny universe is crumbling. First, she did have a health scare when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that prompted her to lose weight. Second, …

Piece #111 - First Impressions

"You already know that making a good first impression can go a long way. But forget all the advice you've received about dressing to impress or putting on a cheesy smile. Turns out, the true secret to building a lasting connection reaches much deeper than what you wear." "According to Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor who has researched first impressions for more than 15 years, everyone (consciously or subconsciously) asks two questions when they meeting someone new: Can I trust this person? And can I respect this person?" This quote comes from Reader's Digest and I actually found this rather compelling because I never really heard of this before. I've addressed this topic of first impressions in the past but, I have to admit that this idea is interesting. I guess since you hear a lot of things from a smile, the outfit or what you say make the difference; however these two questions have me a little perplexed. I think it depends on the situat…