Temple Grandin, the renowned animal behaviorist who credits her achievements to her autism, values "tangible results" over emotion—and so does her HBO biopic. The eponymous film, debuting tomorrow, "avoids the mawkish clichés" so typical of made-for-TV movies, instead delivering "a movie that is funny, instructive, and also intangibly charming," writes Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times.
Grandin is famous for designing humane slaughterhouses, and the film combines "a wonderstruck look at feedlots and loading ramps and a practical, pragmatic view of autism." Claire Danes, in the title role, "is completely at ease in her subject’s lumbering gait and unmodulated voice. She makes Temple’s anxiety as immediate and contagious as her rarer bursts of merriment. And as the character ages and learns more social graces, Ms. Danes seamlessly captures Temple’s progress."