Movie Stats & Links
||Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F.
Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin, Busta Rhymes
||Not too young, but teens should
||Bring her along.
||Jamal gets a little touchy-feely
with Claire, but nothing bad.
||Some chuckles here
||Gus Van Sant
||Sean Connery, Laurence Mark,
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
A Movie Review
"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!!!