The True Story Docudrama That Will Take Your Breath Away, Stream Without Netflix

By Nina Phillips | Updated

Temple Grandin is a film about a woman diagnosed with autism. Though the standard at the time was to blame the mother and let the kid go to a home, thanks to the care and effort of several people in Temple’s life, she pushed through and made a difference in something she was passionate about. Despite the positive ending, the struggles Temple faced throughout her life are sure to leave viewers emotional.

A Pioneer In Understanding Autism

Temple Grandin follows the story of a woman of the same name who has autism from childhood to adulthood. Growing up in a time when autism was considered a form of schizophrenia due to lack of affection from the mother, there wasn’t much known about this disorder.

Instead of giving up on her daughter, Temple Grandin’s mother hires teams of therapists to help her. Eventually, she ends up helping out at her aunt’s and uncle’s farm. There, she develops a passion for animals that shapes her entire future.

Improves The World Around Her

Temple decides to earn a degree in psychology and later a master’s in animal science. Along the way, she has to fight against sexism and misunderstandings surrounding her autism. However, she never slows down and finds the push to make the cattle industry better and safer for the cows thanks to her ability to see the world from their perspective.

Temple Grandin also managed to change the way people saw autism. Thanks to her own fight to find a way to fit into the world around her, she managed to make machines to help other children with autism and help show doctors that they had a lot more to learn.

Made With Input From The Real Temple Grandin

Most of Temple Grandin is a rather accurate biopic. Thanks to Temple’s input on the film, the story stayed pretty true, including omitting a romance included in an early script. However, there were some additions and slight changes to the timeline of her life.

Temple Grandin had permitted Emily Gerson Saines, the producer, to do a biopic of her life in the late 1990s after she’d seen Emily’s work with the Autism Coalition. Despite that early permission, it took over a decade to finish due to several people dropping out.

Claire Danes Tried To Channel The Real Person

Temple Grandin was played by Claire Danes (Homeland), and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard). Though Danes isn’t autistic, she worked hard to capture Grandin’s personality and behaviors as accurately as possible. This involved a lot of research on her part. Grandin and Danes even spent several hours together in Danes’ apartment to get to know each other better.

Streaming On Max

In addition to Claire Danes, Temple Grandin featured cast such as Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek), Julia Ormond (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), David Strathairn (Alphas), and Stephanie Faracy (Sideways). Because of the care that the cast and the crew put into the film, it managed to be a highly accurate portrayal of not only Temple Grandin’s life but autism, especially during that time period. Because of that, the movie has a critic score of 100 percent and an audience score of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you want to give this docudrama a try, Temple Grandin is available to stream on Max.