The Many Sides of ‘The Upside’
With over $100 million in domestic revenue, The Upside is one of the box office surprises of 2019. It has been equally successful in provoking passionate responses about the decision to have Brian Cranston play a quadriplegic. Responses to Allen Rucker’s two articles about the film, and its French predecessor, The Intouchables, highlighted the discussion:
Be Glad You Got Anything
As a person with a disability myself, I am really tired of this conversation. What a lot of people are neglecting to remember is that first society needs to be conditioned to us. I’m 33 years old and still treated like a germ. It makes people feel better to go see a movie about a disabled person when they know that person is actually OK. It depresses them to think that’s how their [a disabled actor’s] life actually is and they will NEVER see that movie. Beggars cannot be choosers. You can be mad about it or glad you get anything at all.
It’s Not Right
Wow! You put aside the fact that a nondisabled actor is playing the role because that’s the way it is in 2019? It’s been playing here for a while now, and not only have I Facebooked and called my theaters to let them know that I am boycotting the film because of this, but I have made it clear to all friends and family that they should also boycott it. My question is, why does a magazine that is supposed to advocate for people with disabilities roll over and say it’s all right?! Read the Ruderman Report — maybe it’ll give you a new perspective.
How About a Body Double?
As a person with SCI, I agree that it would be great to have an actor with a disability in the leading role. It would be great to have a body double to “stand in” for the actor in the wheelchair if they are filming flashback scenes before the injury, which I didn’t see in The Upside.
That’s What Acting is About
It does not bother me to see nondisabled actors portray people with disabilities. After all, that’s what acting is all about — portraying a character unlike the actor. I was OK with Breaking Bad cas