There's an old saying, if you want an Oscar act retarded, I mean literally retarded. Playing a mentally challenged individual is not easy, there's preparation, clothing to be picked out, helmets to be tried on, mittens to be stapled to coats then recreating this in front of the camera with the film crew desperately trying not to laugh like hell. Here are the best and worst.
Leonardo DiCaprio - Arnie - What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Pretty much Leo's best role, seriously, everything else compared to this is complete crap. I don't care how good The Departed is Leo pegged the angst of a 16 year old handicapped boy who likes to decapitate bugs in mailboxes and climb water towers perfectly. When finding his morbidly obese mother dead, shit, sorry, SPOILER ALERT, Leo does a great job freaking out, hitting his head then cower to the corner like a horse seeing a shotgun.
The Mental Handicap Portrayed- The Indie Retard. The standard 3 year old speech, the hands, hitting his own head like a confused George Forman seeing himself in the mirror all kit and caboodle in the behavior patterns of a mentally challenged person in an indie film.
Rating: 3 out of 4
Cuba Gooding, Jr. - Radio - Radio
Standard check list before cameras rolled on Cuba. Jump up and down like a child? Check. Crappy clothes? Check. Yell out plays to the opposing team like a two year old on crack? Check. Run head first into a fence chasing a football? Check. This is pretty much Cuba's best role since, umm, errrr, oh that episode of MacGuyver.
The Mental Handicap Portrayed - Copycat Retard. Cuba really just imitated the real Radio, not much of a challenge there. Plus they are both black and bald, well, Cuba has 9/10Th of the role nailed already. Now if someone like Sidney Poitier did it? There's a movie.
Rating: 2 out of 4
Ed Norton - Jack - The Score
This was a challenge for Norton because he had to become normal to handicapped and back again at a drop of a hat. He's the inside man at a museum that houses a sceptre that he and Deniro want to steal which is, I guess, is worth like a hundred dollars (10,000 in Canadian dollars). So when he takes the persona of a mentally handicapped putz it's less likely the Canadian Mounties will suspect him once the shit goes down. Unfortunately he tries to dick over Mumbles DeNiro. Bad move.
The Mental Handicap portrayed - Secret Double Handicap With Catch Phrase. That right my friends we have the tripeca! Not only does he act like he has the brain of a five year old he also twitches his mouth and walks like I do after 20 beers, plus the hand and arm thing, then his own catch phrase, "Ok bye bye" (french kissing sound) Magnifiek! Unfortunately no academy awards came Norton's way for his efforts, so I hope his mouth and face didn't feel too sore after filming wrapped.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 4
Unknown Actor - The Gimp - Pulp Fiction
Anyone dressed up in leather, put in chains and only brought out to play watch dog while his owners sodomize unwilling and unknowing suspects has to have some sort of mental handicap right? All the guy does is grunt for pete sakes! Plus, is that guy always on? I mean isn't there a time where he takes a time out and gets a cup of coffee and relax with Redfoot or does he just inhale leftover scraps in his cage like a crazed gorilla? The mind boggles.
The Mental Handicap Portrayed - The Gimp. The guy has his own category. I'm not sure if that is a mentally handicapped person, for all we know it could be a shaved gorilla underneath all that leather. I like how he freaks like Chim Chim losing her favorite kitten when Butch escapes.
Rating 2 out of 4
Juliet Lewis/GIavonni Rubisi - Carla Tate/Daniel McMann - The Other Sister
Giavonni already has that dazed look of a mentally handicap person and Juliet Lewis, I mean, c'mon too easy, they were born for this part. But as the title implies, The Other Sister, Juliet is meant to be seen and not heard and is a total embarrassment to her family. I guess there was some controversy when this movie came out with how Lewis and Rabissi portrayed handicapped people. I saw no problems with it except, well, they talk about sex. Which is about as awkward as Shaq shooting a free throw.
The Mental Handicap Portrayed - The Retarded Couple. Not since the president and first lady have two people portrayed a handicapped couple with such accuracy (there you go John-O, I bashed George W.) and grace. Too bad everyone thought this movie sucked hard core.
Rating: 1 out of 4
Dustin Hoffman - Raymond - Rain Man (The Best)
Here it is, the man, the legend, the old fuck that started it all, Dustin Hoffman. He wants to know when Wapner is on, he farts in rented undies AND he counts cards as easily as I get drunk and fall down. He may be WAY to old to be Tom Cruise's brother but who cares, he won an academy award before the academy started sucking.
The Mental Handicap Portrayed - Autism. Autism has almost knocked out global warming, I mean, climate change as celebrities' number 1 concern so it's a big deal. But that's be clear Raymond could do what comes naturally that took a bunch of Asian kids from MTI years to master in the casinos, counting cards. Hats off Ray!
Rating: 5 out of 4
Sean Penn - Sam Dawson - I Am Sam (the Worst)
Let's see, a mentally handicapped dude works at Starbucks, I'll say that again STARBUCKS, has a kid AND has an apartment in L.A. Every starving artist take note you can work at Starbucks and have a decent apartment. Anyhoo he has his kid taken away only because he's retarded (assholes) which leads to the worse exchange in cinematic history:
Sam: I need a lawyer to get back my kid.
Lawyer: I'll do it pro bono.
Sam: Pro bono! I can't afford pro bono!
Lawyer: No, pro bono means free.
Sam: I can afford pro bono!? (starts jumping around like baby huey) Pro bono!!!
Awful, just awful. I wonder if any handicapped person actually sued Penn and the maker of this movie.
Then this exchange with his daughter.
Sam: You've grown.
Lucy: Have I?
Sam: Yeah, 'cause your ears are bigger and your eyes are older.
Fuck me man! If I ever uttered that in the presence of my wife to one of my sons she has every right to divorce me and/or kick me in the nuts.
The Mental Handicap Portrayed - Blatant Oscar grabbing handicap - Penn introduced Pearl Jam for the VH1 rock honors for The Who. He mentioned that The Who never sold out, like him and Pearl Jam. Ok, 1) Don't forget that Pearl Jam fought Ticketbastard then relented when they realized that they weren't getting as much money as before so Eddie Vedder couldn't buy his designer markers to write shit on his arm like: "I'm a douche" and "Peace" or whatever the fuck he writes and aren't they on a major record label? And 2) Penn seems to have amnesia because he forgets he did this movie (STARBUCKS!). I don't know what selling out is but it's pretty fucking close to this movie.
Rating: negative infinity out of 4
Corky - Corky - Life Goes On
I can't make fun of my boy Corky so this will be brief
The Mental Handicap Portrayed - Down Syndrome with Beatles Music - Poor Corky realized he was slow when he couldn't solve a simple high school algebra equation. I had the exact same look on my face when I was faced with the same equation in 9th grade. P.S. I flunked that class miserably. So guess what? I'm retarded too and I happy to admit it.
Rating: I'm seriously going to hell for this.