Tom Cruise stars as an idealistic young wheeler-dealer whose life is changed forever when he discovers he has an autistic older brother (Dustin Hoffman, in a Best Actor Oscar-winning performance). Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
is the kind of touching drama that Oscars are made for--and, sure enough, the film took Academy honours for best picture, director, screenplay, and actor (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988. Hoffman plays Raymond, an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust. This gets the attention of his materialistic younger brother, a hot-shot LA car dealer named Charlie (Tom Cruise) who wasn't even aware of Raymond's existence until he read his estranged father's will. Charlie picks up Raymond and takes him on a cross-country journey that becomes a voyage of discovery for Charlie, and, perhaps, for Raymond, too. Rain Man
will either captivate you or irritate you (Raymond's sputtering of repetitious phrases is enough to drive anyone crazy), but it is obviously a labour of love for those involved. Hoffman had been attached to the film for many years, as various directors and writers came and went, but his persistence eventually paid off--kind of like Raymond in Las Vegas. Look for director Barry Levinson in a cameo as a psychiatrist near the end of the film. --Jim Emerson