Disabilities in the Movies


disabilities in the movies

The Oscars are around the corner, where the best movies of the year are rewarded. In recent years, many award-winning movies included disabled characters. Actors often work very hard to successfully represent the disabled on screen.  The accurate depiction of disabilities in the movies allows audiences to learn about different conditions. This post identifies some great recent films that highlight the realities of living with a disability.

4 Portrayals of Disabilities in the Movies

These movies are all critically acclaimed and depict major characters with disabilities. While they may not all represent disabilities 100% accurately, they effectively spread awareness about the difficulties of living with these conditions.

  • Theory of Everything

Actor Eddie Redmayne plays the part of Stephen Hawking. The role shows Hawking throughout his life, both before he was diagnosed with ALS and after. Redmayne said he spent four months studying Hawking’s life. He also created a chart of how the disease advanced in order to accurately capture it. He also worked with a choreographer to learn how to mirror Hawking’s speech and movement.

  • Still Alice 

Julianne Moore stars as “Alice Howland,” a young professor who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This film represents Alzheimer’s from a patient’s point of view. Moore prepared by speaking with the head of the Alzheimer’s Association. She also visited and spoke with women recently diagnosed with the disease.

  • Ray

This movie is a biography of the famous blind jazz musician Ray Charles. Jamie Foxx played the role of Ray. Foxx wore prosthetic eyelids that prevented him from seeing while filming.

  • Rain Man

In this film, Dustin Hoffman plays the role of a man with autism. Hoffman visited individuals on the autism spectrum and discussed it with doctors. He also studied the different types of the syndrome on his own.

As we said, even the best films don’t always get disability completely right. But, they can be effective in spreading awareness. If you know of other good examples of disabilities in the movies, leave a comment and let us know!

Disabled and Unable to Work? We Can Help

If you are living with a disability, there are many resources available to help you. One of the best resources is the Social Security Disability Insurance program. This program provides monthly benefits when you are unable to work and earn money. However, the claims process for these benefits can be difficult and frustrating. The disability lawyers at Summit Disability Law Group can help you get what you need!

We offer several helpful tools to disability claimants. Our book, The Utah Social Security Disability Handbook, explains the claims process in simple terms. Order your free copy today by clicking on the title above! If you need help with an application for benefits, please contact us today. We will do all we can to help.


Photo “They Theory of Everything Movie Review” copyright by BagoGames.