An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
Bryce Dallas Howard
A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief.
Jada Pinkett Smith
Because of scoring exceptionaly high on a state wide 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 to William to overcome his reclusivness and for Jamal to overcome the racial prejudices and pursue his true dream - writing. Written by
the chan man
In the opening, the stack of books (presumably Jamal's) is comprised of the following titles: 'Journey to the Center of the Earth', Jules Verne; 'After the Banquet,' Yukio Mishima; 'The Sound of Waves,' Yukio Mishima; 'The Temple of Dawn,' Yukio Mishima; 'The Sailor Who Feel from Grace with the Sea', Yukio Mishima; 'The Viking Portable Chekhov'; 'Philosophical Fragments,' Soren Kierkegaard; 'The Sickness Unto Death,' Soren Kierkegaard; 'Fear and Trembling,' Soren Kierkegaard; 'Marquis de Sade: A Study,' Simone de Beauvoir; 'A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man', James Joyce; 'Sometimes a Great Notion,' Ken Kesey; 'Finnegans Wake,' James Joyce; 'The Illustrated Man,' Ray Bradbury; 'Fool for Love,' Sam Shepard; 'Discourse on Method and the Meditations on First Philosophy', Rene Descartes. See more »
Jamal practices basketball with his new team on the concrete roof of the school. We hear the players' shoes squeaking across the floor, but shoes don't squeak on concrete. See more »
Opens the letter
Dear Jamal, Someone I once knew wrote that we walk away from our dreams afraid that we may fail or worse yet, afraid we may succeed. You need to know that while I knew so very early that you would realize your dreams, I never imagined I would once again realize my own. Seasons change young man, and while I may have waited until the winter of my life, to see the things I've seen this past year, there is no doubt I would have waited too long, had it not been for you.
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Jamal and friends play basketball through the end credits from the window of Forrester's apartment. See more »
Director Gus Van Sant also directed `Good Will Hunting' and this film has essentially the same plot. An underprivileged youth is discovered by a reclusive genius and is shepherded to his full potential. What GWH was to math, this film is to literature. They are such close cousins that Van Sant felt compelled to bring in Matt Damon for a cameo.
Regardless of the familiar plot, `Finding Forrester' succeeds because of an excellent screenplay and outstanding acting performances by Sean Connery, Rob Brown and F. Murray Abraham. This kind of story can't help grabbing the audience at a human level. Genius, suppressed by societal class, struggles to emerge and it beats the odds. The story is transcendent for both the main characters. Forrester (Sean Connery) helps Jamal (Rob Wallace) transcend his societal constraints to realize his potential as a writer, and Jamal helps Forrester to transcend the constraints of his emotional traumas to free him as a human being. It is a triumphant story, very uplifting.
Van Sant does a good job of presenting the human element and developing the characters while keeping the photography effective but in the background. The photography is very straightforward, allowing the characters to tell the story without the intrusive use of stylish shots that are all to prevalent lately. Van Sant gives Forrester's apartment a dark and dreary look from a color and lighting perspective, which is particularly effective.
Sean Connery is in top form and continues to make the case for being one of our best and most treasured actors. He gives a virtuoso performance in this film with a complex and ornery character. It is a powerful and moving portrayal. Rob Brown is phenomenal in his first feature film. He was found in a talent search and made an impressive debut with an extremely mature performance. With the right scripts, he has a good chance of having a bright future. F. Murray Abraham is fantastic as the haughty English teacher, who gets his just deserts.
This is a highly intelligent film with a strong story, steady direction and marvelous acting. I rated it a 9/10. Despite an all too familiar storyline, it differentiates itself by its wide-ranging excellence. For those who enjoy good dramatic performances and intriguing character studies, this film is not to be missed.
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