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
Rob Brown got the role after initially auditioning as an extra. Brown had no aspirations of being an actor, and was only hoping to make some money to pay his 300 dollar cell phone bill. But Gus Van Sant invited him to audition for the role of Jamal, and liked his natural ability. See more »
Jamal's tie "moves" in two consecutive shots during his first day of class. See more »
What a nice movie. Great plot, nice character development, and moments of brilliance. To be sure the story of a prodigy and brilliant but sometimes reluctant mentor has been told before, but this story is a unique and interesting take on the subject. Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) is a writing prodigy. His journey makes for riveting stuff.
Strengths of this movie? I love the depth to Jamal's character - he portrays the inner conflict the character feels without over-acting or unnecessary melodrama. The relationship with Forrester (Sean Connery) is a thing of beauty, in large part because Connery is (as usual) wonderful.
Downsides? Well, not any major ones in my opinion. You can nitpick almost any movie to death, but this movie is solid.
In the end, its strengths are great, its weaknesses are minimal, and the memorable touches here and there (moments of beauty between Forrester and Jamal, Busta Rhymes as Jamal's brother, and some beautiful quotes) make this a winner!
36 of 44 people found this review helpful.
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