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Finding Forrester
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Finding Forrester (2000) More at IMDbPro »

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Finding Forrester -- From Academy Award(r) -nominated director Gus Van Sant and starring Academy Award(r) -winning actor Sean Connery, comes a drama about a unique relationship between an eccentric, reclusive novelist and a young, amazingly gifted scholar-athlete.
Finding Forrester -- coming soon


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Up 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Mike Rich (written by)
View company contact information for Finding Forrester on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 January 2001 (USA) See more »
In an ordinary place, he found the one person to make his life extraordinary.
A young writing prodigy finds a mentor in a reclusive author. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 13 nominations See more »
(96 articles)
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User Reviews:
Finding meaning in Finding Forrester See more (294 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Sean Connery ... William Forrester

Rob Brown ... Jamal Wallace

F. Murray Abraham ... Prof. Robert Crawford

Anna Paquin ... Claire Spence

Busta Rhymes ... Terrell Wallace

April Grace ... Ms. Joyce

Michael Pitt ... John Coleridge

Michael Nouri ... Dr. Spence
Richard Easton ... Prof. Matthews

Glenn Fitzgerald ... Massie, Forrester's Delivery Man

Lil' Zane ... Damon (as Zane Copeland Jr.)
Stephanie Berry ... Janice Wallace

Fly Williams III ... Fly

Damany Mathis ... Kenzo
Damion Lee ... Clay
Tom Kearns ... Coach Garrick

Matthew Noah Word ... John Hartwell
Charles Bernstein ... Dr. Simon

Matt Malloy ... David Bradley

Matt Damon ... Steven Sanderson
Jimmy Bobbitt ... Rapper
Capital Jay ... Opposing Player

Jim Titus ... Student (as James T. Williams II)
Cassandra Kubinski ... Claire's Friend
Sophia Wu ... Librarian
Gerry Rosenthal ... Student Speaker
Tim Hall ... Student Manager
Tom Mullica ... Old Money Man

David Madison ... Kid in the Hall
Joey Buttafuoco ... Night Man
Jaime McCaig ... Referee
William Modeste ... Referee
Daniel Rodriguez ... Hallway Boy
Samuel Tyson ... Creston Player
Vince Giordano ... Big Band Leader
Gregory Singer ... Violinist
Dean Pratt ... Trumpet Player
Kerry MacKillop ... Trumpet Player
Harvey Tibbs ... Trombone Player
Jack Stuckey ... Sax Player
Mark Lopeman ... Sax Player
Marc Phaneuf ... Sax Player
Larry Wade ... Sax Player
Conal Fowkes ... Piano Player
Matt Munisteri ... Guitarist

John Sullivan ... Drummer (as John Meyers)
Ron Morgan ... Mailor Priest

Alison Folland ... Jeopardy Contestant

Alex Trebek ... Himself
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Brett Barsky ... Student (uncredited)

Alexander Conti ... Little Boy (uncredited)

Joe Crosson ... Student (uncredited)
Jessica Leshnower ... (uncredited)
Randi Rosenholtz ... Student (uncredited)

Gus Van Sant ... Library Assistant (uncredited)

Directed by
Gus Van Sant 
Writing credits
Mike Rich (written by)

Produced by
Sean Connery .... producer
Jonathan King .... executive producer
Laurence Mark .... producer
Rhonda Tollefson .... producer
Dany Wolf .... executive producer
Cinematography by
Harris Savides 
Film Editing by
Valdís Óskarsdóttir  (as Valdis Oskarsdottir)
Casting by
Francine Maisler 
Bernard Telsey 
David Vaccari 
Production Design by
Jane Musky 
Art Direction by
Robert Guerra 
Darrell K. Keister 
Set Decoration by
Susan Bode  (as Susan Tyson)
Lynn Tonnessen  (as B. Lynn Tonnessen)
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Michal Bigger .... key makeup artist
Mario Cacioppo .... makeup artist: Toronto
Veronica Ciandre .... hair stylist: Toronto
Linda Grimes .... key makeup artist
Stanley Hall .... key hair stylist
Melanie Hughes .... makeup artist: Mr. Connery (as Melanie R. Hughes)
John Quaglia .... key hair stylist (as John D. Quaglia)
Lyndell Quiyou .... hair stylist: Mr. Connery
James Sarzotti .... key makeup artist
Production Management
Michele Giordano .... production supervisor
Jim Powers .... production manager: Toronto (as James Powers)
Tom Razzano .... unit production manager
Dany Wolf .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Fareshta Ahmadi .... dga trainee
Bruno Bryniarski .... second assistant director: Toronto
Dylan Hopkins .... second second assistant director
Amy Lynn .... second assistant director
Kirsteen McLean .... third assistant director: Toronto
Julie O'Neill .... trainee assistant director: Toronto
John Sauvé .... trainee assistant director: Toronto
David J. Webb .... first assistant director (as David Webb)
Art Department
Ann Marie Auricchio .... scenic artist
Roger Baron .... property buyer
Tory Bellingham .... property master: Toronto
Joseph Deluca .... on-set dresser (as Joseph M. Deluca)
David Evans .... on-set dresser: Toronto
Arvinder Grewal .... art director: Toronto
Denise Gurkas .... camera scenic artist
Thomas E. Halligan .... key construction grip
Joanna Tracey Heaton .... art department assistant: Toronto
Philip Kennedy .... scenic artist
Eric Lewin .... set dresser
Carolyn 'Cal' Loucks .... set decorator: Toronto
John Mackenzie .... construction coordinator: Toronto
Vinny Mazzarella .... assistant props
James Mazzola .... property master (as James R. Mazzola)
Fred Merusi .... construction coordinator
Rhonda Moscoe .... art department coordinator
Louis J. Porzio .... key carpenter
Jeff Poulis .... assistant props: Toronto (as Jeffrey Poulis)
Reet Puhm .... key scenic: Toronto
John Ralbovsky .... scenic artist
Sandy Smirle .... assistant art director: Toronto (as Sandra L. Smirle)
Eric Taylor .... key carpenter: Toronto
Patricia Walker .... scenic charge person
Dave Weinman .... lead man
Joan Winters .... graphic designer
Alexandre Athané .... comic art (uncredited)
Mike Bundlie .... graphic designer (uncredited)
Carlos Caneca .... lead man: Toronto (uncredited)
Jay Durrwachter .... production illustrator (uncredited)
Kathryn Freund .... assistant props (uncredited)
Jamie Mullins .... art department coordinator: New York (uncredited)
Sound Department
Peter Appleton .... adr editor
Kelley Baker .... supervising sound editor (as Kelley Baker)
Frank Canonica .... supervising sound recordist: mix stage
Matt Cluett .... sound transferer
David A. Cohen .... dialogue editor
Steve Fontano .... foley mixer
Michael 'Gonzo' Gandsey .... sound effects editor (as Michael Gandsey)
Larry Hopkins .... layback sound mixer
Paul Koronkiewicz .... boom operator
Owen Langevin .... sound mixer: Toronto
Brian Miksis .... production sound mixer
Marnie Moore .... foley artist
Richard Moore .... sound effects editor
Margie O'Malley .... foley artist
David Parker .... re-recording mixer
Chris Potter .... sound effects editor
Neil Riha .... additional utility sound: New York
Frank Rinella .... sound recordist
Dennis S. Sands .... pre-mix engineer (as Dennis Sands)
Erika Schengili-Roberts .... boom operator: Toronto
Burton Sharp .... adr supervisor
Leslie Shatz .... re-recording mixer
Concha Solano .... assistant sound editor
Patti Tauscher .... foley editor
Jim Thompson .... boom operator: Toronto (as James L. Thompson Jr.)
Gus Van Sant .... re-recording mixer
Alfredo Viteri .... boom operator
Patrick Winters .... sound effects editor
Howard London .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Michael Kavanagh .... special effects coordinator
Derek Liscoumb .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Syd Dutton .... additional visual effects: Illusion Art, Inc.
Caroline Gibb .... production coordinator: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Dipankar Goswamy .... digital compositor: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Nick Hsieh .... digital compositor: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Mark Kenaston .... digital artist
Shane Kinnear .... visual effects executive producer: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Michael Kowalski .... production manager: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Tanya Kuzmanovic-Howard .... production coordinator: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Daniel Lee .... digital compositor: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Bob Munroe .... visual effects supervisor
Ken Ouellette .... animation supervisor
Barbara Shaw .... production coordinator: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
John A. Shaw .... technical support: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Bill Taylor .... additional visual effects: Illusion Art, Inc.
Claude Theriault .... digital compositor: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Tracey Vaz .... digital compositor: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Michael Wile .... digital compositor: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
Alphonso Young .... digital compositor: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures
G.A. Aguilar .... stunt coordinator (as George Aguilar)
Blaise Corrigan .... stunts
Tom Farr .... stunts
Richard Hughes .... stunts
Jamie Jones .... stunts
Carl Paoli .... stunt driver
Paul Rutledge .... stunts
Al Thompson .... stunts
Dave Van Zeyl .... stunts
Cort Hessler .... stunts (uncredited)
Stephen A. Pope .... stunts (uncredited)
Al Thompson .... stunt double: Robert Brown (uncredited)
Kym Washington .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Scotty Allan .... gaffer: Toronto
Sam Bojin .... best boy electric: Toronto (as Samuel Bojin)
Bob Brennan .... best boy grip (as Robert A. Brennan)
Craig Bulmer .... electrician
Michael Cambria .... second assistant camera: New York
Caesar S. Carnevale .... film loader: New York (as Caeser S. Carnevale)
Mark Cyre .... assistant camera: Toronto
Cesare DiGiulio .... rigging best boy: Toronto
Thomas Dolan .... best boy electric (as Thomas W. Dolan)
Gregory Farrell .... best boy
Gregory Farrell .... rigging electrician
Jay Fortune .... gaffer
Roland Gauvin .... rigging grip: Toronto
Heinz Gloss .... rigging electric best boy: Toronto (as Heinz D. Gloss)
Glen Goodchild .... best boy grip: Toronto
Wayne Goodchild .... key grip: Toronto
Craig Haagensen .... camera operator: New York
Steve Kolodziej .... 24 frame video operator
Jim Krauter .... dolly grip: Toronto
George Kraychyk .... still photographer: Toronto
James Malone .... rigging gaffer (as James V. Malone)
Larry McConkey .... Steadicam operator
Kevin McKenna .... video assist operator
Rocco Michaluk .... second assistant camera
Phil Oetiker .... camera operator: Toronto (as Philip W. Oetiker)
Billy Patsos .... key rigging grip (as William Patsos)
George Patsos .... key grip (as George Patsos Jr.)
James Pollard .... dolly grip (as James H. Pollard)
Eric Swanek .... first assistant camera: New York
Davidson Tate .... rigging electric: Toronto
Demmie Todd .... still photographer
Neil Trafford .... assistant camera: Toronto
Greg Williams .... video assist operator: Toronto
Richard Gioia .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Kathy Driscoll .... casting associate (as Kathleen Driscoll-Mohler)
Lori Eastside .... extras casting
Sam Lisenco .... extras casting assistant
Emily Palmer .... extras casting assistant
Victoria Pettibone .... casting associate: New York
Nancy Safran .... casting assistant
Jon Strotheide .... casting associate
Bill Woods .... casting associate: New York
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joanna Brett .... wardrobe supervisor
Cori Burchell .... wardrobe: Toronto
Barrett Hong .... wardrobe supervisor: Mr. Connery (as Barrett P. Hong)
Iris Horta Lemos .... set costumer (as Iris H. Lemos)
Donna Maloney .... wardrobe supervisor (as Donna M. Maloney)
Amy Roth .... key costumer (as Amy T. Roth)
Andre Schulz .... costumer: Toronto
Marcia Scott .... costumer
Editorial Department
Clare Bambrough .... assistant film editor (as Clare Mara Bambrough)
Angela Barton .... assistant film editor
Kent Blocher .... assistant film editor
Helen Hand .... first assistant editor
Berenicci Hershorn .... apprentice film editor
Kathy LaCommare .... assistant film editor
Eric Rigney .... avid technician
Stephen R. Sheridan .... color timer (as Steve Sheridan)
Dawn M. Stoliar .... assistant film editor
Tim Wilson .... assistant film editor
Paul Zucker .... assistant film editor
Tim Fox .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Bill Holley .... colorist (uncredited)
Barry Malawski .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Bill Brown .... music arranger
Bill Frisell .... composer: additional score
Charlie Haden .... musician: bass
Lisa Jaime .... music editor
Kenneth Karman .... supervising music editor (as Ken Karman)
Lesley Langs .... assistant music editor
Hal Willner .... music supervisor
Hal Willner .... original score producer
Herbie Hancock .... musician (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Ron Annabelle .... driver
Steve Halldorson .... driver: honeywagon
Steven R. Hammond .... transportation captain
Stuart Mitchell .... transportation co-captain: Toronto
Eugene O'Neill .... transportation co-captain
Steven Sacrob .... driver
Dave Staples .... transportation captain: Toronto
Mitchel Stewart .... driver captain
Other crew
Trish Adlesic .... location manager
Casey Affleck .... assistant: Gus Van Sant
Casey Affleck .... technical consultant
Chad Ahrendt .... assistant: Mr. Mark
Petra Alexandria .... executive: Imp
Gerry Alfonso .... payroll accountant
John 'Frenchie' Berger .... armorer
Luc Bernard .... assistant production accountant: Toronto
David F. Bianculli .... production assistant
Tami Cassell .... adr loop group
Noreen R. Cheleden .... production assistant
Santena Jenaris King Clough .... second assistant accountant (as Santena Jenaris King)
Lee Ann Cotton .... office production assistant: Toronto
Marty Dejczak .... location manager
Rob Dickerson Jr. .... production assistant (as Robert Dickerson Jr.)
Rebecca Donaghe .... assistant: Ms. Tollefson
Roy Emerson .... stand-in: Mr. Connery
David Farr .... accounting clerk
Kerin Ferallo .... production coordinator
James Fraser .... production secretary: Toronto
Cliff Fuller .... assistant production coordinator
Ginger Gonzalez .... production assistant
David Graham .... assistant location manager
Matt Graver .... locations pa
Rodrigo Guerrero .... production assistant
Jay Hernandez .... assistant: Dany Wolf
Amanda Ladd Jones .... payroll accountant (as Amanda Ladd)
Dan Jones .... production assistant
Larry Kaplan .... unit publicist
Danna Kinsky .... production assistant
Sean Longley .... key craft service
Francis Maiorino .... location scout
Eric Mansur .... assistant: Mr. Mark
Pamela S. Marshall .... production secretary
David McIlroy .... location manager: Toronto
Tim Monich .... dialect coach: Anna Paquin (as Tim F. Monich)
Nancy Neumann .... studio teacher
Murphy Occhino .... production assistant
Julie Oppenheimer .... script supervisor
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
Barry Papick .... acting coach
Kwame Parker .... assistant production coordinator: Toronto (as Kwame L. Parker)
Antonia Proscia .... assistant production accountant
Gary S. Rake .... production assistant
Lynnette Ramirez .... assistant: Ms. Tollefson
Tim Ray .... office production assistant
Jeremy Rizzi .... assistant: Mr. Van Sant
Lin Saunders .... assistant location manager
Kevin Michael Schembri .... second assistant accountant
Burton Sharp .... adr group coordinator
Sue Sparling .... second assistant accountant
Beverly Sutton .... production coordinator: Toronto
Joyce Tollefson .... assistant: Mr. Connery
Ajamu Walker .... production assistant
Jeff Wallace .... assistant: Mr. King
Cassidy Watkins .... assistant: Mr. Connery, Toronto
Elson Williams III .... production assistant (as Elson C. Williams III)
Nadine F. Wilson .... production accountant (as Nadine Wilson)
Tomoko Yamamoto .... assistant accountant
Wendy Ann Zellea .... office production assistant: Toronto
Frank Cattano .... location assistant (uncredited)
Thomas Maxwell .... production assistant (uncredited)
Howard Samuelsohn .... dialect coach (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual references
136 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS (8 channels)

Did You Know?

The famous line from the film, "You're the man now, Dog!", served as the inspiration for the popular internet site YTMND.See more »
Factual errors: When Jamal is talking with the BMW owner, Jamal makes the statement about the origin of the BMW logo representing spinning propellers. This is actually not true. The BMW emblem is actually derived from the national colors of Bavaria and the roundel was mirroring the original Rapp Motor Works emblem.See more »
Jamal:Women will sleep with you if you write a book?
Forrester:Women will sleep with you if you write a bad book.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Q & A (1990)See more »
GassenhauerSee more »


Is this an original screenplay or an adaptation from the novel by the same name?
See more »
73 out of 88 people found the following review useful.
Finding meaning in Finding Forrester, 13 May 2001
Author: danhicks from Minnesota

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.

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