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Featured Movies About Aspergers Syndrome or Autism

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Droopy, Feb 21, 2011.

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  1. Droopy

    Droopy Founder & Former Admin Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    What movies would you recommend that are about, or have, an Aspergers Syndrome / Autism theme? It seems that a lot of people have differentiating opinions on what movies are good and have accurate representations.
  2. IContainMultitudes

    IContainMultitudes Moderator Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    There aren't really that many movies that are explicitly about people with AS, but, as Jesse Saperstein points out in the book Atypical, there are some that could be interpreted as being kind of secretly about people with AS. The examples he gave were Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, The Waterboy (which I haven't seen), and Rushmore.

    One movie I like that I think could be sort of interpreted this way is George A. Romero's Martin.
  3. Droopy

    Droopy Founder & Former Admin Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I've seen The Waterboy before (before I was diagnosed or had heard of Aspergers/Autism). Now that I think about it, Adam Sandler's character could possibly have Aspergers since the character is shy, socially awkward and lacks communication skills.
  4. Dmajkowski

    Dmajkowski Active Member

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    Rumble Fish.
  5. King_Oni

    King_Oni Moderator Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm surprised no one mentioned Rain man... though, how "real" that is, is obviously up for debate... but at least they tried to portray something like "autism".

    Apparently, a dutch/belgian movie called "BenX" is about a boy who had autism, and therefore "retreated" in some MMO game. I didn't really think he was that autistic... he came across as the lone gaming nerd... and I knew some of those people like that. But some people might disagree with him showing traits. Don't know if it's available with english subs though
  6. kasmanaft08

    kasmanaft08 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I did watch Ben X (and strangely, just mentioned it to someone, lol), and wasn't sure how accurate that was (although I did like how they portrayed the "noise" and "overstimulation" thing). The rest of it was difficult to tell for me to be honest. I probably wouldn't have thought much about it if he didn't outright mention it.

    If you have netflix (online) you can see it.

    Adam is another, Mozart and the Whale is another. With any movie on the topic it's fair to expect some exaggeration, but I felt Adam did a decent job compared to the others. Mozart and the Whale kind of annoyed me to be honest.

    Also, Rain Man is based on Kim Peek - who very likely wasn't autistic, and most likely had something called FG syndrome:
    Kim Peek - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Whether the movie tried to say it was autism, I can't remember. But it did make quite a big impact, considering the amount of autism stereotypes I hear IRL that come straight out of that movie.
  7. IContainMultitudes

    IContainMultitudes Moderator Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm kind of worried if I told very many people I know about being on the autism spectrum, they'd probably ask me to multiply big numbers in my head or something like that when I'm actually fairly mathematically inept and pretty much have to use a calculator for everything. :twitcy:

    I haven't seen it in a long time, but I was thinking a few days ago about how the Steve Buscemi character in the movie Ghost World seems slightly aspie-like, especially with the way that he seems slightly trapped by his special interests (IIRC, at one point he even says "I don't like my interests").
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
    rollerskate and balder like this.
  8. King_Oni

    King_Oni Moderator Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, but let's not make it complicated for the "hollywood-crowd" >.<

    He's based on Peek, but they might just as well use some traits and put in all kinds of stereotypes... movies in general aren't always known for being "accurate" and tend to hybridize or exaggerate pretty much everything.
  9. kasmanaft08

    kasmanaft08 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yeah, haha. As I typed it I debated in my head whether or not the movie outright claimed or implied it (regardless of fact), which wouldnt suprise me in the least. But yeah, Hollywood does tend to mash up mental disorders for the performance.

    The strange thing is, I always felt the best depictions of Asperger's were always the characters that come off that way, but never outright said it. I had a small list in my head, which slipped my mind, but that Steve Bucemi one is a good example that ICM brought up, actually. Never thought about that one.
  10. Occasional_Demon

    Occasional_Demon Well-Known Member

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    RE: Rain Man - the movie was inspired by Kim Peek, but Dustin Hoffman also did meet with a lot of other people on the autism spectrum during the research of the movie, so his portrayal is not entirely based on Peek. I think at the time of making Rain Man, Kim Peek was viewed as autistic. At the very least, Kim Peek had the "autism" label on him for some of his life. It was after Rain Man had been made that it was found that Kim Peek most likely had FG Syndrome instead. So I don't think it was the screenwriter who was dumbing things down for anyone [besides the screenwriter remained close friends with Kim Peek and his family after the movie, and gave Peek his Oscar - so he must've been doing something right].

    Personally I thought Rain Man portrayed someone with moderate/severe classical autism pretty accurately. The literalness of how Ray interprets the world, his apparent disinterest in people, the meltdowns when things get overwhelming, the repetitive rituals, etc. Although probably a little too well, because that movie also perpetuated the myth that all people on the spectrum have savant skills [I only wish].

    With the movie Adam, I was a bit underwhelmed by it, in the sense that it seemed to push the idea that all a person with Asperger's needs to do is to interact with people and they'll be "better". That's a big simplification. Plus I thought the Adam character was just shallow.
  11. kasmanaft08

    kasmanaft08 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have to agree about the movie Adam itself. But my opinion was that the actor potrayed it the best of what I've seen [of all the movies that were purposefully supposed to be about Asperger's]. There were a lot of details that I thought were good and I identified with, but the story and writing itself really bothered me for a lot of reasons. But it could be a comparison, since I watched Mozart and the Whale about the same time and was annoyed at how much of a charicature it came off to me.

    That is a good point though about Kim Peek- the FG syndrome diagnoses didn't come until later. I don't know the exact time scale, but it would make sense for the actor to base it off of autism. I haven't seen the movie in a long time though, I'll have to watch it again with that in mind.
  12. Galaxy Freeze

    Galaxy Freeze Well-Known Member

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    Mozart and the Whale is a pretty good movie, it was made about five years ago.

    It's pretty much about a couple with Asperger's Syndrome and how they learn to cope, I liked it.
  13. kg4fxg

    kg4fxg Well-Known Member

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    As Good As It Gets
    Adam
    Temple Grandin
    Juno
    Little Miss Sunshine
    Pi
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  14. prof.kno-y

    prof.kno-y Active Member

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    One of biggest box office hits out there. No one seem to mention{Forest Bump) WHY!
  15. kasmanaft08

    kasmanaft08 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Has anyone seen this movie?
  16. IContainMultitudes

    IContainMultitudes Moderator Staff Member V.I.P Member

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  17. Arashi222

    Arashi222 Cuddling Vampires V.I.P Member

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    What about the movie Fly Away? Its a movie about Autism. I really enjoyed it.
  18. jonathan

    jonathan New Member

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    There's a martial arts flick named Chocolate, about an autistic Thai girl who apparently has a savant like ability to pick up on martial arts techniques. Never got around to seeing it though, assuming it ever was available, and of course it's a ridiculously inaccurate portrayal of autism, but action flicks involving people beating the living daylights out of other people always catch my eye ;) especially so when it involves autistics?
  19. theoriginalsk

    theoriginalsk Member

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    Yes Ive watched it, its a really good film.Doesnt really over do it, the main character may be an aspie but this film shows him in a positive way and doesnt make him look incapable because of his aspergers.The title of the film doesnt really give away what its about and the references to 9/11 can be off putting but there is very little about 9/11. Its more about one boys quest and the challenges he faces to complete it.Really touching story.

    Adam is good as it shows the differences between what the couple think when in a relationship with an aspie, it was usful for me to show to partners etc but I also agree it tries to simplify things and also makes it look like aspies are void of emotion and love.Despite that its a sweet film.
  20. Aspie&Aspie

    Aspie&Aspie Member

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    MNIK "My Name Is Kahn" is a big budget Bollywood film produced in 2010 whose leading character has Asperger's Syndrome.
    Yes I know, I've seen the highlights of those Bollywood movies that look like cheesy B-grade 'Grease' style films with Indian actors and actresses.

    I must admit my main reason for watching MNIK was the Asperger's thing and to see if they got it right. Though that really is difficult because everyones different, but overall I think they did a good job, with his quirky-neck movements and his inquisitive, aloof, confused expressions. Without spoiling it for you the movie starts from childhood with all the difficulties that brings, right through to adulthood. There is kind of a 'Forest Gump' feel to the movie, but in a good way.

    This film really surprised me with its brilliant directing and stunning cinematography. I can see why MNIK absolutely smashed all the box-office records world-wide and won many awards, and the fact they are India's most top-rated actors. (The lead actress 'Kajol' reminds me of 'Salma Hayek', total eye-candy!).
    Kajol
    Salma Hayek

    IMDb rating = 7.5 Highest Asperger's related rating I've seen.
    Overall, a really good movie and I rate it a 8.5/10. An absolute must see for anyone especially on the autistic spectrum, or not. A great bit of Hollywood style Drama, Romance and Escapism rolled into one. Bring lots of comfort food it's a long movie :)
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
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