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Finding Forrester
Movie Stats & Links

Starring: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin, Busta Rhymes
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Not too young, but teens should enjoy it.
Date Movie: Bring her along.
Gratuitous Sex: Jamal gets a little touchy-feely with Claire, but nothing bad.
Gratuitous Violence: Nah.
Action: Nah.
Laughs: Some chuckles here and there.
Memorable Scene: The ending.
Memorable Quote: Nah.
Directed By: Gus Van Sant
Produced By: Sean Connery, Laurence Mark, Rhonda Tollefson

Finding Forrester
A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 2:13 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
The weekend before seeing "Finding Forrester," The Dude on the Left and I had gone to one of "the best movies ever" in the likes of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Traffic" and came out of both of them agreeing the movies werenít nearly as good as they were being made out to be. It was with hesitation that we went to "Finding Forrester," hoping that finally one of the movies being touted as "best movie" might actually be. This movie, although dragging just a tad at parts, lived up to its billing.

"Finding Forrester" brings us Jamal (Rob Brown). Heís an inner city kid who loves basketball but also loves literature and writing. At school he canít show this, and for good reason, so his grades are mediocre, but when it comes to standardized tests, well, Jamal shines. This catches notice of a prep school looking for their next basketball star, giving Jamal a free ride because of his grades but they would be grateful if he helped out the basketball team. Meanwhile, back in the Bronx, in a secluded apartment, a mysterious man peers out at the world around him and when old people peer out at the world around them, well, the kids make up stories of a murderer, witch, crazy person, etc., and just tend to leave the old people alone. But, one day, Jamal takes a dare and breaks into the old manís apartment, the old man scaring him, and Jamal leaving his backpack with some of his writings behind

Jamal is bummed he lost his backpack but the old man drops it to him one day and Jamal finds that the old man looked at his writings and added some helpful hints. Intrigued, Jamal goes back to the apartment to find William Forrester (Sean Connery), and asks for help with his writings. Thus the bond develops between pupil and teacher, and the two become friends.

Now, meanwhile, back at the prep school, Jamal has a problem, and it really isnít even the fact that he is starting to have a relationship with Claire, the white daughter of one of the schoolís benefactors. It seems one of the professors believes Jamal might be plagiarizing his work because there is no way a basketball player from the ghetto could turn in such great writings.  Jamal is stuck having to prove the work is his own when he shouldnít have to. In the end it is up to William to support Jamal, coming out of hiding and back to his old alma mater, and shoving it down the professorís throat one more time.

"Finding Forrester" is one of those movies where you canít help but get wrapped up in the characters. You know there is a reason William has become a recluse and wait for the answer to come out. You root for Jamal because he has the will to succeed yet keeps getting dissed by the man. You get mad at William because after all Jamal has done for him, well, he goes back, even just for little while, to being the crotchety old man again and that pisses you off. You want Jamal to make the free throws at the big game even knowing he wonít. And you want the movie to have a feel-good ending. You get most of all of the above and itís for the reason you donít that I really liked the movie. It doesnít get sappy; it doesnít get preachy; it just tells a great story of overcoming adversity at any age.

Most critics have been likening "Finding Forrester" to Good Will Hunting" and with some good reason. You have the smart kid who doesnít know if he wants to be smart being mentored by the genius who doesnít want to be a genius. Youíve also got Gus Van Sant directing and a cameo by Matt Damon to remind you. But for me "Finding Forrester" really reminded me more of "Field of Dreams" when the Kevin Costner character goes in search of the secluded writer character, James Earl Jones, both of them learning off of the other that there are still great things to accomplish. Maybe Iím just weird.

So, finally, a movie that lived up to its hype. Itís 5 stars out of 5 for "Finding Forrester."

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

 

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