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The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician (recently deceased) tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs. Written by
This film is about death, love, and mental incapacity. There are bound to be endless clichés, comparisons, and parallels drawn with Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind", so I won't go there.
In the end, this film is all about Gwyneth Paltrow.
She is on screen at least 80% of this film. Her character dances between mourning, anger, remorse, confusion, fear, vulnerability, sadness, and just a little bit of love. There are very dramatic changes in emotion from moment to moment, and Paltrow pulls it off brilliantly.
Sir Anthony Hopkins role, while relatively small, is crucial to the film. His performance was good, but not great. But it didn't really matter, as Proof is all about Paltrow. Hope Davis and Jake Gyllenhaal also gave solid performances, but their as with Hopkin's role were really nothing more than support Paltrow.
The biggest disappointment for me was the almost total lack of any 'real' mathematics. For a film that revolves around brilliant mathematical proofs, there's an almost painful scarcity of and real math in the film. There are shots of seemingly random equations scrawled across paper or a blackboard, and the odd conversation making reference to some known mathematical law or theorem, but I would have liked more.
IF you want a happy film, go see something else. If you want a mindless film, go see something else. If you want a typical love story, go see something else. If you want an intelligent well written and presented story of substance involving a a character experiencing a roller-coaster of emotions, Proof may be for you.
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