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Temple Grandin – A Movie Review

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin

Sam Juliano at Wonders In The Dark has made several requests that I review a movie here at Patricia’s Wisdom.   I do not very often go to the Theatre because it is just too expensive for me right now; I do watch at least one movie a week, through the mailbox system of delivery.

However this 2010 movie just popped out at me as it came up in my “recommended for you” folder week after week,   I had to read the plot summary and then go on line to look it up and discover it was a biography of a rather exceptional person.   NOW, I was interested.

One reason I did not want to watch this movie was I do not like any of the movies that Claire Danes has acted in and that I have seen.   She just screws up her face in the most bazaar fashion, it always distracts and I find myself wondering if she is going to cry or just drop over dead – No such luck.   Danes was too hearty and healthy to play Beth in Little Women and I find myself talking back to her in every scene, the last time I was ill, I just fast forwarded over her scenes in that movie.

At least, she had brown hair in Temple Grandin.  Actually, she was excellent and truly captured Temple’s actions and interpretations.  And then again, Ms Grandin liked her portrayal in the movie too. The nice actor from Chocolate played Grandin’s mother and was so good.

Here is how Netflix summarizes the story:

”Emmy winner Claire Danes stars as Temple Grandin, a brilliant young woman coping with the stigma of autism at a time when it was misunderstood. With the support of her loving family, Temple dedicates herself to learning and becomes a famed animal behaviorist. Her passion for animals gives her a unique ability to understand them, and she fulfills her love of education by teaching about autism and the most humane ways to treat livestock and pets.”

Director:Mick Jackson
Genres:Dramas, Biographical Dramas, Dramas based on real life, Social Issue Dramas, Tearjerkers, 20th Century Period Pieces
This movie is:Emotional, Inspiring, Heartfelt, Feel-good

Here is Temple Grandin’s lecture on TED

Want more Temple Grandin Information?   She has a whole page on Wikipedia and numerous websites.

Temple Grandin understands animal behavior.  She understands Autism and she understands how minds work and knows how we need the whole spectrum of minds, working at their best capacity to make this world a better place.

“Nature is Cruel, so we do not need to be”
Temple Grandin

I watched this movie 4 times before I put it back in the mail box to return.   I cried each time, Grandin gets up to thank her mother for all her efforts and for not giving up on her.  You can read about her mother and she has written a book about her experience, it is called:  A Thorn In My Pocket

I adored the scene where Temple’s Mother confronts the doctor with his diagnosis and then just moves forward on her own to help her child become the best that she can be.  She did not give up.

I do not give up, I am an exceptional mother with exceptional children and I could relate to this movie on so many levels.  It was beautiful storytelling and well worth the effort.


I just love to go to the movie theatre and when the lights go down, I feel myself transported into the world of the film.  I enjoy the feeling of leaving the theatre and the sense of re-entry into the world; it is as though I can see with new eyes.    I do not like going to the theatre and paying to watch all the ads and product placements.   How do you feel about going to the theatre and about all the advertizing?

(Yes, I do realize the ads pay for the movie making – but they have become overwhelming to me recently)  The ads did not detract from the important story being told.

I would also ask if you know what the definition is of the “exceptional child”   in the world of education?  I have used that definition intentionally in this review.

Here is my review Mr. Juliano – I have a few more coming up in the new year.  I still like reading the books best because then I choose how the scene looks and how the characters appear – my imagination likes to play.

Related Reading:
The Smartest Women I Know
Shiny Objects
Off the Map
Momma Mia
Julie and Julia

If you purchase anything from amazon from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.

No one paid me to review this movie, nor did I receive any compensation for mentioning her mother’s book.

A Gift for my Readers and Commenters!
Yep!  Come by and make a comment on Patricia’s Wisdom on Nov. 24,25,26 because I am giving away a lovely, beautiful gift to one of my readers that day!

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14 Responses to “Temple Grandin – A Movie Review”

  1. Sam Juliano Says:

    Well, Patricia I must say you did not disappoint! While I am loathe to admit that I have not seen this film (HBO product is an area I have little exposure to) I am happy to report that my wife Lucille has seen the film, agrees completely with your assessment, and shares your emotional connection to the material. Lucille claims the picture hooked her almost immediately.

    Lucille, a former special education teacher for 21 years before becoming a district principal states:
    “I liked the film because it looked at the positive aspects of autism, and it proved that what God takes away, he gives a gift in another way. This lady’s success is an inspiration story. Danes was excellent and won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Grandon.”

    Like most movie goers, when I think of autism I envision RAIN MAN, which of course was edgier and focused mainly on family bonding, through a kind of trial and tribulation.
    TEMPLE GRANDIN is obviously a film that aims more for the heart and for the kind of experience that is potentially life-altering.
    You have done a magnificent job here framing this film in every pertinent sense. Bravo!

    Lucille adds that she saw the film late at night when she was tired, but she hung with it till the end, calling it engrossing and ecaptivating. This is surely the most artistically accomplished work of director Mick Jackson’s career, which includes the commercial hits L.A. STORY and MY BODYGUARD.

    patricia Reply:

    Thank you so much for dropping in and also for sharing Lucille’s enthusiasm for the film too. Your words are gratefully received.

    Yes, I think Danes was worthy of getting an award, but I almost did not watch it because of her – she has ruined several movies for me.

    My Father was State Director of Special Education here in Washington State…working with the Gifted and the challenged. He had very far reaching ideas and when I wrote a law stating the every child deserves and individual education he was fired. He was slated to me Secretary of Education under President Kennedy, but Kennedy was assassinated before that came to be.

    I watch a wide range of movies, and I have a weakness for biographies and historic films…but this one just was amazing – sometimes it only takes one person’s story to change the direction and make the changes needed.

    I just hope I can inspire more folks to see this movie – I rented it from Netflix

    Thank you for your kinds words.

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    “I watched this movie 4 times before I put it back in the mail box to return.”

    Patricia – that enthusiastic statement alone tells me that it must be captivating and well worth viewing :)
    Laurie Buchanan recently posted..Zodiacally SpeakingMy Profile

    patricia Reply:

    This movie so touched on my parenting experiences and how tough the moments were in Dr.’s offices and schools and how so alone one can feel and how determined…

    As Grandin says in her TED lecture that there are so many levels of Autism, but each way the mind is used it important to understanding and being in our world.

    Thank you for coming on by and for the shout out for my Nov. 24 gift

  3. suzen Says:

    Hi Patricia! We go to movie theaters so rarely that I don’t get bothered by the ads – it’s just a sign of the times. Hubs and I chat our thru them mostly. As for the movie you reviewed, I haven’t seen it but will look for it on the movie channels we get. That’s my preferred way to see movies anymore – at home. Comfy, cozy and with a pause button!
    Enjoy your trip away!
    suzen recently posted..Apples – Weight Loss, Fiber & Nutrient-Rich Gems!My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Hi suzen,
    sorry I missed your comment earlier – I too love the pause button, and being able to not see the ads…

    This is a dynamic teaching story… informative about things we should know about – like your blog posts
    Patricia recently posted..For Such Beauty is Mine ~A guest postMy Profile

  4. Jannie Funster Says:

    I too LOVE being transported when the theatre lights go down. (As long as there’s not too many candy wrappers and such crackling…) We can go tomorrow. Kelly spending the night at a friend’s! I have no idea what films are out these days but I’m ready for something really really GOOD, a wonderful romance or excellent mystery.

    I don’t mind the ads so much.

    And Dearest Patricia, I shall never ever look at Claire Dances as I had before. I shall be ever watching to see her screw her face up. :)

    Never heard of Temple Grandin. Sounds like an AWESOME human! I’d like to see the movie.

    And autism is still such a little-known condition, tho some light is being shed.

    Jannie Funster recently posted..5 Things It’s Best Not To RushMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    I think you would love this movie Jannie – I watched it on DVD…
    Claire Dances now that is a good one!

    The TED lecture is good to see Temple Grandin in real life lecturing.
    Autism is a big deal and we can gain such understanding from her work..
    Happy movie night…After I write my biking architect post for Thanksgiving I am going to a movie myself!

  5. Jannie Funster Says:

    Claire Dances!! Funny typo. Her facial muscles dance to you? :)

    Jannie Funster recently posted..5 Things It’s Best Not To RushMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Her face needed to dance in this one!

  6. Galen Pearl Says:

    I have read a lot about Temple Grandin over the years. As the mother of two autistic kids, she was always so fascinating to me. Thanks for this review.

    By the way, do you know that if you leave a comment on my blog and I click on your name to get to your blog, I go to your profile page, which does not include a link to your blog? On your profile page, you can add a category “my blogs” and put a link to your blog. It would make it much easier for people to find your blog through your comments on other blogs. Just a thought.

    Patricia Reply:

    thanks for coming by and I thought you might know about Temple Grandin and her work…fascinating woman and has given us so much good information

    I am with IT Girl right now so we will investigate the problem…My profile is my about page on the blog..so it should just be easy to get to the home page? We will check it out and try to make it easier..

    I had to put the captcha program on because of so much spam – maybe that has made a change?
    Maybe too other commentol38crs will tell me if they are having the same situation happening?

    Hope you will come by for my Thanksgiving post – weekend to discover my gift…surprise

  7. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. the film must have come out here – last year wasn’t easy for me, so perhaps I missed it. I don’t watch movies at home .. not sure why, I expect I’ll do so sometime in the future.

    Temple Grandin is amazing .. and I saw her TED film and possibly a documentary over here .. I’d like to see the film though .. it is so good that more and more books, novels, films etc are in the mainstream now about challenging human behaviours, which need to be made more aware of ..

    Great post – thanks for sharing with us .. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family down in San Fran (I think) .. cheers for now .. Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..If__ …. and Thanksgiving … and Nano ….My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Had a great time being away and having an Out of House Experience! Food was yummy too

    This movie was a TV movie originally and is just now making the rounds of the “check out” groups. I noticed my library has a number of copies.

    I think you would enjoy this movie very much.
    Patricia recently posted..For Such Beauty is Mine ~A guest postMy Profile