Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Has the Movie The Accountant Provided Viewers with an Accurate Representation of Autism?

Often Hollywood leaves behind fact and accuracy in pursuit of ticket sales and big dollars, but have they done it again with The Accountant? Well, let’s have a look and find out for ourselves!
Ben Affleck stars in the new action thriller The Accountant, currently in movie theaters around the world. There is nothing unusual in this, but what is a little bit different is that Affleck’s character has autism and the film plays on many of the positive aspects someone affected by autism may have. The main character in the movie is Christian Wolff, complete with pocket protector. A genius with numbers, math, and bookkeeping, that also happens to be a highly trained killer. Wolff works with crime groups around the world, organizing their dubious accounts and handling all of their money.
This type of movie isn’t anything new to Hollywood. Since Dustin Hoffman’s movie where he played Raymond Babbitt in Rain Man in the late 80’s, Hollywood has started to shine a light on people affected by conditions such as autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and other mental health problems. The problem isn’t that Hollywood makes these films, it is how they portray the people in the films and the conditions which they have to deal with.
Many people would justifiably have concerns about any movie that portrays the main character as someone who has autism and also violently kills people.
The important thing that viewers need to remember is that Wolff isn’t running around the country randomly killing people. From an early age, Wolff’s father instilled a sense self-defense and self-preservation into him.
Ben Affleck spent quite a lot of time researching the role before committing to it. He watched documentaries, listened to podcasts, read books and also visited with Director Gavin O'Connor and the students at Exceptional Minds.
Ultimately Director Gavin O'Connor was pleased with how the movie portrayed people with autism and how it affected them and the decisions it made. He said it was important to remember that Wolff wasn’t just running around killing people. He was killing those that threatened him and had broken his moral code.

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