Elissa Down's The Black Balloon (2009) is a heart-warming and tender portrayal of a family struggling to deal with autism. The story centers on Thomas and his relationship with his autistic brother, Charlie. Thomas embarks in an emotional journey when he meets, Jacky, while dealing with the pent up frustrations toward his brother and the crisis his family is going through.
If you're a fan of Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and the very recent The Kids Are All Right (2010), you'll have no problem liking this one. I think it's a little more melancholic than the two, but the core essence is pretty much the same. The witty blend of comedy and drama will take you in an emotional roller coaster, and leaves you with that familiar fuzzy warm feeling in the end.
Can't Unsee: The large eyes and hairstyle of Jacky, Thomas' girlfriend in the film, remind me of Amanda Seyfried. Hehe! Anyway, The Black Balloon received a 90% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.