7.3/10
71,545
295 user 137 critic

Finding Forrester (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama | 12 January 2001 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer

WAYS TO
WATCH:

See all
A young writing prodigy finds a mentor in a reclusive author.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
4,747 ( 66)
5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Fantasy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A down-and-out golfer attempts to recover his game and his life with help from a mystical caddy.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Will Smith, Matt Damon, Charlize Theron
Entrapment (1999)
Action | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An insurance agent is sent by her employer to track down and help capture an art thief.

Director: Jon Amiel
Stars: Sean Connery, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ving Rhames
The Rainmaker (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent Insurance company.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes
Medicine Man (1992)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

An eccentric scientist working for a large drug company is working on a research project in the Amazon jungle. He sends for a research assistant and a gas chromatograph because he's close ... See full summary »

Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Sean Connery, Lorraine Bracco, José Wilker
First Knight (1995)
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Lancelot falls in love with Guinevere, who is due to be married to King Arthur. Meanwhile, a violent warlord tries to seize power from Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Director: Jerry Zucker
Stars: Sean Connery, Richard Gere, Julia Ormond
Rising Sun (1993)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

At the offices of a Japanese corporation, during a party, a woman, who's evidently a professional mistress, is found dead, apparently after some rough sex. A police detective, Web Smith is ... See full summary »

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel
Just Cause (1995)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A Harvard professor is lured back into the courtroom after 25 years to take the case of a young black man condemned to death for the horrific murder of a child.

Director: Arne Glimcher
Stars: Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Capshaw
Promised Land (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

Director: Anthony Minghella
Stars: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law
School Ties (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Set in the 1950s, a star-quarterback is given an opportunity to attend an elite preparatory school but must conceal the fact that he is Jewish.

Director: Robert Mandel
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A US Army officer, despondent about a deadly mistake he made, investigates a female chopper commander's worthiness for the Medal of Honor.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In an alternate Victorian Age world, a group of famous contemporary fantasy, SF and adventure characters team up on a secret mission.

Director: Stephen Norrington
Stars: Sean Connery, Stuart Townsend, Peta Wilson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Richard Easton ...
...
Massie, Forrester's Delivery Man
Lil' Zane ...
Damon (as Zane Copeland Jr.)
Stephanie Berry ...
...
Fly
...
Damion Lee ...
Edit

Storyline

Because of scoring exceptionally high on a statewide standardized exam and being an exceptionally good basketball player Jamal Wallace is sent to a prestigious prep school in Manhattan. He soon befriends the reclusive writer, William Forrester. The friendship leads William to overcome his reclusiveness and for Jamal to overcome the racial prejudices and pursue his true dream - writing. Written by the chan man

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In an ordinary place, he found the one person to make his life extraordinary.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Descubriendo a Forrester  »

Box Office

Budget:

$43,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$701,207 (USA) (29 December 2000)

Gross:

ESP 283,653,614 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | (8 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to being based on J.D. Salinger, William Forrester is also heavily inspired by John Kennedy Toole. Toole wrote the book "A Confederacy of Dunces", a mysteriously autobiographical book, but when no one would publish it, he gassed himself to death in his car. Years later, the book was published and won the Pulitzer Prize. See more »

Goofs

In the basketball state championship, the opposing team scores, and then Mailer calls a time out. During the time out, the coach says "if we get a stop here, they'll have to put us on the line", yet Mailer should have had possession, thereby not necessitating a "stop". See more »

Quotes

Jamal: Be sure to write.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the Columbia logo presentation, Bill Frisell's guitar playing the Columbia accompanying music is heard, rather than the usual orchestral version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.89 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Save Me
Written by Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, and Zac Hanson
Performed by Hanson
Produced By Hanson and Stephen Lironi
Courtesy of Island Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Finding meaning in Finding Forrester
13 May 2001 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

The mechanics of the movie have been well-reviewed by others. Yes, it could definitely have been a better movie, but then again what movie can't you say that about? In terms of plot and character development what it needed most was another 30 minutes, but at two and a quarter hours already most studios would never allow that. (Note that the movie did not seem nearly that long to me.) Perhaps the plot and story could have been tighter, but it's really a remarkable job for first-time screenwriter Mike Rich.

The acting, while not always remarkable, was quite good. Connery brilliantly underplayed Forrester, yielding a less dramatic but much more realistic portrayal of the writer. Rob Brown's portrayal of Jamal was equally reserved yet forceful. The directing held the two characters in balance well. The other characters were well-acted though not generally well-developed (hence much criticism of this movie).

Others have compared Finding Forrester to Goodwill Hunting (also directed by Gus Van Sant) and to Scent of a Woman, suggesting that it is just a ripoff of the plot in those two. If so (which I doubt), those are two pretty good movies to plagiarize. The basic concept of Forrester's story (first novel wins Pulitzer -- what do you do for an encore?) has also been done before, but I've never seen it done so well (and without resorting to The Bottle as an excuse for a wasted life).

What's been missed in the reviews I checked was a discussion of who found whom. When you boil it down, Jamal found Jamal and Forrester found Forrester (just in time), though they found themselves by reaching out to each other and forming a bond of friendship across a gulf of age, suspicion, and race. The way they do this, without the usual twists of self-destruction and miraculous salvation, is both touching and refreshingly real. And finding oneself, in its essence, is what EVERY good drama is about, so, yes, there is a similarity to Goodwill and Scent and every other good movie ever made.

Included in the movie is a very brief first course in writing. Though the movie doesn't dwell on it, the way it presents the process of writing (and of the criticism of writing) is refreshingly realistic.

Speculation about the "real" identity of Forrester is interesting. Salinger has been mentioned, but the similarities are only superficial. Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) is a much better fit (first novel wins Pulitzer, nothing else ever written, lived as a recluse), but I almost favor the enigmatic Gardner McKay (though Forrester is certainly different in many ways from McKay). However, it's just as likely that Rich had no particular person in mind when he crafted Forrester (since, after all, the First Novel Syndrome is a well known plot theme).

All in all, while not The Great American Movie, it's a very good movie and well worth watching.


74 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Good film, apart from Crawford's character zaphox
Oscar for Connery bradyB14
Other films concerning literature sheva91
Matt Daemon's appearance lordseverinus
"Over the Rainbow" Ruprect
A fair African American coming of age film? liam-995-318550
Discuss Finding Forrester (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?