Mask is a 1985 American biographical drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, starring Cher, Sam Elliott, and Eric Stoltz with supporting roles played by Dennis Burkley, Laura Dern, Estelle Getty, and Richard Dysart. Cher received the 1985 Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress. The film is based on the life and early death of Roy L. "Rocky" Dennis, a boy who had craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, an extremely rare disorder known commonly as lionitis due to the disfiguring cranial enlargements that it causes. Mask won the Academy Award for Best Makeup at the 58th ceremony, while Cher and Stoltz received Golden Globe Award nominations for their performances.
In Azusa, California in 1978, Roy L. "Rocky" Dennis (Eric Stoltz), who has craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, is accepted without question by those who know and love him: the boyfriends of his freewheeling biker mother, particularly Gar (Sam Elliott); his "extended motorcycle family"; and his maternal grandparents Abe and Evelyn Steinberg (Richard Dysart and Estelle Getty), respectively, and with whom Abe shares his love of baseball card collecting. However, many others fail to see his humanity, intelligence and humor and thus respond to his unusual appearance with fear, pity, awkwardness, and uncertainty. Rocky's mother, Florence "Rusty" Dennis (Cher), is determined to give Rocky as normal a life as possible, in spite of her own wild ways as a member of the Turks biker club, as well as her strained relationship with her parents. She fights for Rocky's inclusion in a mainstream junior high school and confronts a principal who would rather relegate him to a special education school, despite the fact that his condition hasn't affected his intelligence. They then go to the doctor for Rocky's semi-annual physical, where Rocky claims to be feeling well, despite continuing headaches, which his mother can sing away without medicine. A young doctor tells Rusty that Rocky will probably not live for more than six months. Rusty scoffs at this claim, as doctors previously made failed predictions that Rocky would be blind and suffer other maladies.