Comfortable and Furious

A Deep Dive into Dustin Hoffman’s Performance in 1988’s Rain Man

Rain Man is quite possibly Dustin Hoffman’s best performance of the 80s. His character, Raymond, has autism, which comes with its own challenges. That being said, Hoffman does a brilliant job of showing a different side of it. He portrays Raymond in a way that allows his kindness to shine through, which has helped the movie to stand out and become a true classic.

Although it takes his brother Charlie some time to realize it, Raymond is very smart. This is especially the case when it comes to quick maths. He has a phenomenal level of understanding and is able to pick up new things very quickly. Charlie decides to take him to Vegas, in an attempt to visit somewhere new outside the four walls he’s been living in. 

Entertainment in the Movie vs. Reality

In the movie, Raymond feels the need to watch the same television show every single night. He watches People’s Court and goes to bed at 11 pm. Now, the world is much less dependent on television schedules, especially when you look at the rise of on-demand viewing through services such as Netflix.

In the movie, Raymond also has to pick up the rules of blackjack live at the table, and although he does well, it’s certainly a feat to watch. Thankfully, the entry point for people who want to learn games like blackjack is much lower now. For example, you can play live blackjack for real money from the comfort of your home, with helpful tutorials available to guide people who have no experience. Games like Blackjack 14 and Live Lightning Blackjack help convey the authentic gameplay seen in the movie.  The scene in the film helps bring the brothers closer together, and it gives Charlie an insight into Raymond’s life and the things that he struggles with. This is a highlight of the film, and Hoffman does a fantastic job of showing his character’s strengths and weaknesses in a way that’s nothing short of cinematic brilliance. He even won an Oscar for his portrayal of Raymond.

Dustin Hoffman as Rain Man

Charlie tells his girlfriend right at the start of the film that he once had an imaginary friend he called the Rain Man. He comforted him when he was scared and, later on, we realize that it’s actually Raymond. He was later institutionalized after an accident, another key part in the film which Hoffman plays incredibly well. Even though Raymond’s character portrayal often comes down to his autism, the level of personal growth shown through the movie is what helps to make it so special. Hoffman does a great job of showing Raymond’s struggles, such as his aversion to having his things touched, and physical contact. He’s even able to pursue human connection, which is a major step in his character development. 

Hoffman worked very hard to prepare for this role. He also met with consultants from neuropsychiatric institutes, along with autistic people and their families, to try and portray the character as authentically as possible. Even though the character is incredibly complex with a lot of different layers, Hoffman does a great job at developing Raymond as the film goes on. 

Cinematic Masterpiece 

From letting his guard down to becoming more accepting of things he once struggled with, it’s quite possibly one of the best performances he’s ever put on, which is why this movie is such a classic amongst 80s cinema as a whole.



, ,



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *