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.
The summer movie season kicks off early with the release of Captain America: Civil War. Read up Marvel's latest and other upcoming movies in our Coming Soon section, where you can watch trailers, buy tickets, and more.
A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.
A young man who was born without an immune system and has lived his life within a plastic bubble in his bedroom finds out that the woman he has loved since childhood is about to be married ... See full summary »
When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for 50 years.
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
"Proof", the excellent play by David Auburn, was one of the best things in the New York stage in recent memory. Part of the attraction was the intelligent subject matter, math science, and how it connected the four characters one got to meet. The casting was an ideal one, Mary Louise Parker, Larry Briggman, Johanna Day and Ben Shenkman, playing Cahterine, Robert, Claire and Hal, respectively.
Mr. Auburn and Rebecca Miller, a movie director, herself, took the task of adapting "Proof" for the screen. The result, directed by John Madden, opens the play in cinematic terms, no small undertaking in presenting the movie to a wider audience who might not be interested in science, and much less in the advanced math that plays an important role in the proceedings.
If you haven't seen the film, please stop reading here.
Catherine, the 27 year old, at the center of the film, is a woman who has stayed behind to take care of her aging father, a man much esteemed in academic circles, who is suffering from, perhaps, a neurological illness that is killing him slowly. Catherine has, in a way, sacrificed her life in order to see that Robert spends his last days at home instead of at an institution.
The death of the father brings Claire home. This woman, who lives in New York, wants to get rid of everything connected with her father. She even has made plans for Catherine to move from Chicago to be near each other in New York, where things are much better. To complicate things, Harold, the nerdy math student, finds a hidden notebook that might contain a discovery that will revolutionize math. The only problem is the proof might not have been the dead man's own creation.
"Proof" works as a film because of Mr. Madden's direction. We are kept involved in what is going on because we have been won by Catherine, the wounded woman trying to live her life without having to tend to a sick man. Catherine love for math, in a way, makes her realize her place is in the same institution where her father made mathematical discoveries as she will be following his steps.
Gwyneth Paltrow makes an excellent Catherine, a role she had played on the London stage. Ms. Paltrow is a welcome presence in the movie because of the intelligence she projects when working with a good director like John Madden. In fact, it has been a while since we saw this actress in a film.
Hope Davis, another excellent actress, plays Claire, the materialistic sister who has arrived and who wants to transform the frumpy Catherine and mold her to her own taste. Ms. Davis has accustomed us to expect a valuable contribution to any film in which she plays. As Claire, she clearly understand who this character she is portraying really is.
Anthony Hopkins has only a few good moments on the screen. Jake Gyllenhaal's character Harold is not as effective as Ben Shenkman's was on the stage. In fact, Mr. Gyllenhaal, with his dark good looks, seems to be someone who would not be interested in math at all.
"Proof" is an immensely rewarding film thanks to what John Madden's vision.
65 of 83 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?