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Film Studies: “Temple Grandin” Essay

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Updated: Jun 26th, 2020

Temple Grandin, a 2009 film, is a captivating composition of Christopher Monger assisted by William Johnson. The movie is founded on a book written by Temple Grandin, featuring the account of her life. Steered by Mick Jackson, the film stars characters like Julia Ormond, David Strathairn, Claire Danes, and Catherine O’Hara. Through these characters, the movie brings to light the interesting story of Temple Grandin, a young woman who rises beyond what is expected of autistic people. The missy Grandin becomes a performing proficient veterinary despite her mental disorders. According to Jackson, the student life of Grandin, the film is an illustration sufficient to confirm the old adage ‘Disability is not inability.’

The film is a journey through the life and calling of Temple Grandin, a qualified physician, conversant with the field of livestock industry. Her compounded reputation is attributed to her efforts in advocating for the issue of autism. Being an autistic woman, Grandin discovers a machine that assists those suffering from autism. Despite the achievements, Grandin’s entire life stands dominated by her functioning autism.

The film features the struggles encountered by Grandin’s mother in her endeavor to raise her daughter normally. Because of the disorder, Grandin cannot join her normal friends in school, a situation that forces her mother to find an academic institution that best accommodates Grandin. Grandin’s endowments stand in the film when she invents some cattle treatments, which work against the pains experienced by livestock during the slaughtering process. This invention is highly applied in America today. However, Jackson does not neglect the other side of Grandin’s life.

He technically brings clear the trials and sufferings faced by the young Grandin. The film unveils the mistreatments experienced by the girl, through not only her friends and classmates, but also her very own family members owing to her disorder. As a result, Grandin’s pronounced courage dominates her when she chooses to walk in the direction of her dreams. She imagines of a day when the situation will be better, which marks the reason behind her autism-related intelligence that drives her towards inventing the hug machine that eases the struggles of autistic people. This machine takes after another she had seen from her auntie, used for calming cattle.

The most appealing episode in the film is the interesting presentation by Claire Danes, who plays the part of Grandin. Danes precisely fits herself into the shoes of the afflicted Grandin, physically, spiritually, as well as emotionally. It proves hard for the viewer to tell Dane from the real Grandin in that, she suffices to highlight the experience of autistic people, not sparing the pronounced brilliance depicted by these people in school, above their ‘normal’ counterparts.

The various characters play their roles in a fantastic way. For instance, Ormond passes for Grandin’s mother through the way she struggles to make her daughter Grandin comfortable, though sick. In addition, Catherine O’Hara fits in her role as Grandin’s auntie, whose cattle machine motivates Grandin into inventing another, but this time for autistic people. Moreover, David Strathairn acts as Grandin’s teacher. He enlivens Grandin to apply her special gifts to come up with the aforementioned discoveries.

Building on the way Jackson steers the film, any viewer can afford to term it as a high quality work through the style he employs in managing his characters. Every intended message stands out through the pictures, as brought out by Jackson’s photographic skills. It is clear that Jackson targeted the disabled people, through whom he successfully drives home the lesson that ‘Disability is not inability.’ The film is an informative piece of work.

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1. IvyPanda. "Film Studies: "Temple Grandin"." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-studies-temple-grandin/.


IvyPanda. "Film Studies: "Temple Grandin"." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-studies-temple-grandin/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Film Studies: "Temple Grandin"." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/film-studies-temple-grandin/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Film Studies: "Temple Grandin"'. 26 June.

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