Unfortunately, didn't get around to reviewing "Temple Grandin" for today's Newsday which is a significant oversight on my part simply because it is so very good. (HBO, Saturday night, 8.)
Primarily, it's very interesting. You'll learn more about cows during this hour and half then you've ever likely learned in your life. Cows are quite intriguing, in their own bovine way.
Plus, autsim. Temple Grandin - played here with uncommon skill and passion by Claire Danes - is one of the world's leading husbandry experts, and has engineered various cattle pen devices designed to calm the doe-eyed beasts (usually before they're herded off to slaughter.) But she is also afflicted with autism.
What's fascinating about this portrayal, and may be to you, is that Grandins's form of autism seems more like Aspergers; people who have children with severe autism likely won't recognise their child's symptoms in Grandin's. She's high-functioning, and in fact, extraordinarily gifted. Grandin thinks in pictures, and has a savant-like recall. As she explained in an interview with HBO, "The normal mind drops out the details. An autism/Aspergers mind sees all the details, which is more like the animal mind, because animals are sensory thinkers. They think in pictures too, they think in smells, they think in sounds. They don?t think in words."
HBO - and Mick Jackson, who directs - do a brilliant job of capturing Grandin's mind in motion. It's a marvel to behold. Great cast too - Julia Ormond, as her mom; David Strathairn, as the teacher who recognises her gifts; Catherine O'Hara as the aunt who introduces her to her life's love - cattle.
Again, didn't review, but - when you get thoroughly sick of all the pre-Supe Bowl hype - tune in to this for something entirely different. You won't regret it.
I've posted three vids here. The first - the trailer; then a red carpet clip that HBO got on-line yesterday; and finally and most interesting of all, first part of a BBC program on Grandin. You'll see what she's really like...