Hoffman plays Raymond Babbitt, an autistic savant, in this drama directed by Barry Levinson. Raymond’s father dies and leaves the bulk of his multi-million dollar estate to the institution where Raymond lives. His brother Charlie (Tom Cruise), ignorant of Raymond’s existence till now, wants to gain custody of him in order to control the inheritance.
I accepted the fact that in order to be authentic, Raymond couldn’t have the dramatic arc that actors always look for in roles. And that instead of a full-scale painting, I would have to do a pen-and-ink drawing, a haiku.