realistic in its portrayal of autism
This movie shows the strengths and weaknesses of autistic people (although the individual strengths and weaknesses vary from person to person). It also shows the pains and pleasures of living and working with someone with autism- or any disability. Rather than sugarcoating autism, it portrays autism realistically. Raymond's explosive fits are realistic. So is his special ability- and the limitations of that ability- at mental arithmetic. His extremely literal interpreation of the words don't walk while crossing the street is realistic as well. Charlie's initial anger and resentment toward his brother are also realistic, as is the love he increasingly shows as the movie goes on. The best scene is perhaps the scene at the casino, where Raymond knows which cards will come up next and the security guards mistakenly thought that he "counted into" the cards, as this shows how typical autistic behavior is sometimes misinterpreted by others. A great movie. One word of warning, though: high functioning people in the autism spectrum may not see the similarities between themselves and Rain Man the first time they watch it since they're much higher functioning than he is. I know that was true of me (I have Asperger's Syndrome). It was also true for an autistic man named Paul McDonnell. But I saw the similarities when I saw the movie the second time years later. When Paul McDonnell saw the movie the second time he saw the similarities as well. So, while high functioning people in the autism spectrum may not see the similarities between themselves and Rain Man the first time they watch, they probably will the second time.