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Temple Grandin (2010)

A 2010 movie starring Claire Danes

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Powerful Performances and Amazing Story

  • Jul 29, 2010

Every once in awhile a movie is made that expands truth and dispels misunderstandings of certain stereotypes. Forrest Gump. A Beautiful Mind. And now, Temple Grandin.

This fact-based made-for-HBO film stars Clare Daines as Temple Grandin,  an autistic woman who has changed the face of America's meat-packing industry and become one of the autism community's biggest advocates.

Temple was diagnosed with autism in the 1950s (I think) at age four, at a time with the disease that now impacts one in 110 children was considered rare and extremely misunderstood. Temple's mother, portrayed  by Julia Ormond, was told that the only choice was to institutionalize her mother. Instead, Julia worked diligently to teach her daughter to communicate and to push her to live a "normal" life despite deep fears, sensory issues, socialization difficulties and ostracism.

Temple's high school science teacher recognized her beautirul and amazing mind, encouraging her to appreciate the uniqueness of the gift that she'd been given through her autism. In the long run, she did just that, using her special abilities to understand cattle to rework the nation's slaughter houses, creating a much more humane system in the long run.

The film was a beautiful and honest look at this amazing woman -- and young girl -- who viewers grew to love and admire despite her unusual behaviors. Clarie Danes' peformance is Emmy worthy, capturing the nuances of Temple's autism, from the most hard-to-watch aspects to the sweet humorous and touching moments. The director, too, did a wonderful job helping viewers understand the full experiential life of people with autism, who have extreme sensory issues.

As the mother of an autistic child, many of the aspects naturally hit home. But I was also enlightened through the director's use of images and sounds to enhance the sensory aspects of Temple's life. (As a sidenote, in here various speaking engagments, Temple has stressed how societ has underestimated the sensory aspect of autism.) Most of all, however, I was encouraged, seeing this remarkable woman's life and her amazing mind.

Definitely a powerful movie well worth renting.

Powerful Performances and Amazing Story

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November 24, 2010
Great review! Thanks for sharing your perspective as a mom of an autistic child too. I fell so in love with Temple, and was thrilled to see awareness raised on what it's really like to live with autism, both as the individual and as the family and support network. As a mom in general, I so cued in to her mother's character and the unbelievable strength and courage she had to find a alternative path to institutionalization in an era where she had zero resources. Remarkable and inspiring, all around!!
August 01, 2010
I didn't realize when I wrote this that it wasn't on DVD yet. I checked and it comes out August 17th (or something like that). I recorded it off of HBO.
August 01, 2010
I had never heard of Temple Grandin before until I read this review, but I just looked her up. What an extraordinary woman. And I love Claire Danes. I'll have to check this out. Thanks for sharing, Allison!
More Temple Grandin (movie) reviews
review by . June 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
TEMPLE GRANDIN has a committed following group of admirers of fine film making: the reason the group is not larger is that this little film is a 'made for TV' movie and that at times puts it into the 'inconsequential' category in people's minds. Nothing could be further from the truth. The film deals with autism in an honest, extremely sympathetic and intelligent way. While there have been other films that deal with the various forms of autistic behavior ('Adam', 'Rainman', 'What's Eating Gilbert …
Quick Tip by . November 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Great film!! Catch this on DVD for sure -- most true story films get lazy acting and writing because they rely too heavily on the true story to hold up the whole thing -- but not the case here. Temple's story is INCREDIBLE and the movie is equally so. Totally forgot Claire Danes was a famous actress and bought into her as the real Temple - which is remarkable for an actress of that level of fame to pull off imo. You really feel like you're coming from Temples perspective on life. Eye opening, heart …
About the reviewer
Allison Hill Hester ()
Ranked #117
I'm a freelance writer, graphic designer and artist; a military spouse; mother of two (including a precious little boy with autism) and an avid movie lover. I majored in radio/TV/film (20 years ago) … more
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About this movie


Temple Grandin is a 2010 biopic directed by Mick Jackson and starring Claire Danes as Temple Grandin, a woman with autism who revolutionized practices for the humane handling of livestock on cattle ranches and slaughterhouses.

The film debuted on HBO on February 6, 2010 and received overwhelmingly positive reviews. On July 8, Temple Grandin was nominated for several Primetime Emmy Awards, including the awards for Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie.
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Movies, Biopics, Temple Grandin


Director: Mick Jackson
Genre: Drama
DVD Release Date: August 17, 2010
Runtime: 103 minutes
Studio: Hbo Home Video
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