Friday, 22 January 2016

Blind Spot Series... 1: Good Will Hunting (1997)

This is a film I've been meaning to see for years, and had only heard good things about, so it seemed a good choice for my first 'blind spot' viewing (further details and the list of films I'll be watching for this project are here).

An award-winning maths professor (sorry Americans, it's maths not math) discovers a mathematical genius within the university, except he's not a student, but a cleaner on probation. Matt Damon plays the genius who has the potential to be one of the great minds of the age, yet is always in trouble and has no desire to do anything of importance with his life. As a last resort to keep him out of prison, he is sent to a therapist, played by Robin Williams.

The film turned out to be as enjoyable as I'd expected, striking a nice balance between easy-to-watch and hard-hitting drama. Although the focus is mainly on Damon's character, it is the performance of Robin Williams that stands out, another example of how exceptional he could be when he was healthy and in the right role. There is real emotional depth in the sessions between those two, it's a surprise that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck could write a screenplay this good at their first attempt. Although it’s maybe even more surprising that they haven’t written anything else together since, at least that I’m aware of. And I haven’t even mentioned the supporting cast - Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, Minnie Driver, and directed by Gus Van Sant. Thoroughly recommended viewing, I wish I'd not waited so long to see it.

Next month’s planned ‘blind spot’ viewing is… Incendies. So there’s that to look forward to.

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