Mystic Pizza Box

Mystic Pizza Box
A slice of heaven

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Still waiting for a great film on autism

Still waiting for a great film on autism: The Oscar-winning "Rain Man" (1988) raised considerable awareness about autism. Regrettably, the term "rain man" has become an accepted punch line for someone behaving in a stupid manner. It's not

It's been years since I saw "Rainman" but I remember the first time I saw the film in 1988 with my mom and my younger brother Alberto, who has autism. I was stunned by Dustin Hoffman's performance as a man with autism who goes on a road trip with the younger brother who doesn't remember him because they were separated in childhood. This was the first time I'd ever seen an actor portray someone like my brother, with many of the same characteristics-echolalic speech, obsessing over a favorite TV show, insisting on having certain foods on certain days, amazing memory for details, fascination with photography, etc.)

Will there be another truly memorable film on the subject of autism to hit the big screen? Several years ago, Hugh Dancy played the title role in "Adam" about a man with Asperger's Syndrome who learns to make his own way in the world and gets a girlfriend after his father dies, an honest and thought-provoking film that should have gotten a wider audience. Interestingly enough, Claire Danes, who is married to Hugh Dancy, won an Emmy for her portrayal of real-life Aspie Dr. Temple Grandin in the HBO film "Temple Grandin," which aired last year. Also, Mark-Linn Baker, who played insurance agent/criminal mastermind/Aspie Wally Stevens busted by Detective Robert Goren in LOCI episode "Probability" also plays Adam's boss in "Adam."

Will Vincent D'Onofrio make the next great film about a person with autism? He has been planning to direct "Johnny and Me" based on his own script about a man with Asperger's Syndrome and his world of Johnny Cash music and his relationship with his daughter. Vincent recently revealed that he is struggling with finishing the script and isn't ready to make the film yet. I have faith that he will complete the film and that "Johnny and Me" will be truly special.

Good luck, Vincent. We're rooting for you! :)


  1. I definitely am rooting for him to make this film also , for personal reasons.Yes I too think it will be an amazing film.

  2. I agree. Vincent would be making history as the first major actor/director on the autism spectrum to make a film about a man on the spectrum. That would be awesome!

  3. I also like the Asperger interpretation of Christian Clemenson in Boston Legal.

    I wish Vincent much luck for Johnny and Me. I hope he can fix this project which seems very important to him.

  4. Another excellent movie is "Snow Cake" starring Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver. The way V talks about "Johnny and Me", you know its important to him. He even thanked me at the Q&A in Utah last June when I asked him a question about it. It's important to all of us with family on the spectrum.