MovieChat Forums > Rain ManĀ (1988) Discussion > Raymond was a VERY Selfish Man!

Raymond was a VERY Selfish Man!

For as much praise as Rain Man (1988) received at the Academy Awards, was this really the Best Film of the Year? I'm not so sure.

Tom Cruise plays a car salesman who learns his father has died and left him nothing in the will. Except rose bushes. $3 million is going to his brother Ray, played by Dustin Hoffman. Cruise hatches a plan to kidnap his brother, and then the lawyers will fess up half the cash. It definitely makes sense considering he was also part of the family. He deserved more then the lousy deed his father left him.

The two get together, but it turns out Ray is a bit mentally unstable. Autism I believe- mixed with a really annoying personality. Raymond is not flexible. He refuses to fly on planes because most airlines have crashed. So they have to drive to Los Angeles. During the ride, he bugs Tom Cruise about getting the proper boxer shorts- "which are in Ohio". I totally understood Cruise's frustration with this lunatic. I would have kicked him out of the car, and cut my losses. But the film continues on- and feels like Thelma & Louise without the cops chasing them. There isn't much purpose to this character drama other then Hoffman getting to show off his method acting tricks to the camera.

The worst scene is when the two brothers are dancing in their Las Vegas suite. Cruise finally is warming up to his brother, teaching him some moves. Then offers to hug him. Ray screams out in agony- like its the worst thing in the world. What a selfish, weird man he is! Your brother is trying to reach out to you, and THIS is how you react? Like he's some stranger from hell.

Cruise is pretty good, but even when he has a change of heart towards the end of the movie, Hoffman's Raymond doesn't care. He stays exactly the same. No character development. No tender moment where the two brothers hug and say they love each other. Raymond is so selfish, he won't budge on his stubbornness. He's an example of why many men like him will never get married. Who wants to live with a person like this? He belongs in an institution.



Are you trolling? Do you even know anything about severe autism?


Many people with very pronounced autism are not self-aware. You might have missed some details. When Cruise pulls off Raymond's headphones to say goodbye, that is a moment of true character development. I trust you can figure out why.


Character development for CRUISE. Not Hoffman. As I stated earlier, yes Tom Cruise's character changes. And he should have been considered for an Oscar. Hoffman, on the other hand, stares off into space and repeats words a lot. That's a pretty gimmicky, one-note performance. Anyone could have done it. But because it was essentially Forrest Gump toned down a notch, voters went for it.

This movie had potential to be so much more- but Ronald Bass took the easy way out.


What you seem to miss is that people with severe autism can act just like Raymond does, no matter how selfish and weird it is to you. And when you understand that, you will see why Hoffman deserved an Oscar. He just nailed what it's like to have such a condition.

And by the way, Raymond actually did live in an institution and returned to it at the end of the movie.