I don’t usually seek out movie adaptations of books, especially if they’re favorite books because let’s face it, there is nothing better than the book. In a few instances, years after the movies have had their releases, I’m presented with watching it and think because of the distance between the actual reading then the viewing, that I will be less critical. I can think of two adaptations that were spot on– Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, with it’s movie directed by Jessica Sharzer and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, with it’s movie directed by Sofia Coppola. Now I can add a third to the list: Temple Grandin’s story. While I’ve only read Sy Montgomery’s book subtitled How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World and none of her others… yet, I also remembered that Claire Danes had played her in a movie and thought, I’m going to give it a whirl.
Both the Montgomery’s book and Danes’ portrayal were emotional roller coasters of the historical period where autism was thought of as childhood schizophrenia and parents were pressured to institutionalize, but the importance of relationships that can motivate, focus, or develop others. I was enamored with the conceptual understanding shared with viewers by the director, Mick Jackson, as well as the human element. I was touched with the outpouring of gratitude the movie closed with, I was inspired by the portrayal of a girl who can see in pictures in the book and how obstacles can lead to new adventures. This is a pairing as good as chocolate and peanut butter.