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Proof (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 7 October 2005 (USA)
1:46 | Trailer

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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.



(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Limo Driver (as Tobiacz Daszkiewicz)
Professor Barrow
Friend at Party
Friend at Party
Theoretical Physicist
Leland Burnett ...
Band Vocalist
University Friend
University Friend
University Friend (as C Gerod Harris)


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 B.B.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


If you don't believe in yourself, who will believe in you? See more »


Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content, language and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dokaz  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$193,840, 18 September 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,524,766, 20 November 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The role of Catherine was originated by Mary-Louise Parker in 2000 at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York. Her performance won her a 2001 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and a 2001 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play. See more »


Catherine's arm changes position when Claire talks about vegetarian chili. See more »


[first lines]
Robert: [stirring her out of a dream] Can't sleep?
Catherine: Oh, Jesus! Oh, you scared me.
See more »


Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.34 (2009) See more »


We Can Be Free
Written by Bruce Elliott-Smith, Frantic, Mark Lord, Lucy Wells & Steve Jueno
Performed by Caroldene
Published by Big Tiger Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Lovecat Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Paltrow Shines As A Fragile Woman In Crisis
12 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Proof" hones in on the emotional relationships in the play. With Rebecca Miller jointly credited with David Auburn on adapting his play, this is less coy about who did what to whom when in reality or delusion than it is about connections between people.

The flashbacks cut effectively back and forth and smooth out where each character is coming from.

"Catherine," the daughter of a brilliant mathematician who is somewhat modeled on John Nash's struggles with madness which were portrayed in "A Beautiful Mind," is still the focal point of attention. But with the other characters fleshed out more Gwyneth Paltrow has more to naturalistically react to than the stage actresses (I saw it on Broadway with a mercurial Anne Heche). Paltrow brings unexpected fragility to the role and makes her sarcastic accusations to her sister come out of personal pain and not just spitefulness. You really see that she is emotionally ravaged from putting her life and mind on hold for a father with a very strong personality.

Anthony Hopkins is unusually paternal as the father and you understand her attractions and fear of him, as well as why the sister had to flee how insecure she felt there, as Hope Davis manages to breathe some life into a strident character. We see very clearly the demands of being a caregiver to a legend. Unlike in "Iris" at the end of careers, we do ache at the sacrifices the young caregiver has made and how this claustrophobic existence has led to her own crippling doubts about her work, her life and her sanity.

Jake Gyllenhaal is the hunkiest, most adorable, rock 'n' rollin' math graduate student since Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting" and could help increase math enrollments around the country. But as irresistible as he is, and their relationship is literally more believably fleshed out as young people than in the play, we also can share Paltrow's suspicion of him. But we see more of his activities, as the film opens up the play, so we too clearly know before she that he has regained in our credibility as he seeks his proof. I don't mind that the film adds to the romantic aspects and drawn out coda as I thought the play tempted unfulfillingly in that direction and it is a means to help her regain the multiple meanings of proof -- as evidence, as trust, as confidence.

Director John Madden keeps the camera moving actively during long dialog interchanges, reflecting "Catherine"s agitated state of mind. The house and academic setting well establish the atmosphere, particularly when there's more people around, though some of the outdoor shots seemed like filler.

The score is occasionally intrusive, but the concluding voice-over is even more annoying and unnecessary.

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