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Proof (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 7 October 2005 (USA)
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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.

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(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,956 ( 20)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Danny McCarthy ...
Cop
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Limo Driver (as Tobiacz Daszkiewicz)
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Theoretical Physicist
Leland Burnett ...
Band Vocalist
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University Friend (as C Gerod Harris)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The biggest risk in life is not taking one. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dokaz  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$193,840 (USA) (16 September 2005)

Gross:

$7,524,766 (USA) (18 November 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Auburn's play "Proof" premiered at the Manhattan Theater Club, New York City, New York, USA in May 2000, and then transferred to the Walter Kerr Theater on 24 October 2000 where it ran for 917 performances. "Proof" won the 2001 Tony Award for the Best Play, and the Pulitzer Prize in Drama the same year. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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

Connections

References Se7en (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Never Be (Your Maggie May)
(1991)
Composed and Performed by Suzanne Vega
© Waifersongs Ltd./WB Music Corp
By kind permission of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd
Courtesy of Polydor UK Music Limited
Licensed by kind permission from The Universal Film & TV Licensing Division
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Proof" Adds Up
2 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love a movie in which every moment of it feels authentic, and "Proof" is that kind of movie. Critics have had a fairly mediocre response to the film, so I was somewhat surprised that I liked it so much. But it's easily one of the best movies I've seen this year.

I didn't see the David Auburn play on which the movie is based, and maybe many of the film's detractors have: screen adaptations of favorite plays often seem to dilute them to the detriment of the story. But if this movie is worse than its stage counterpart, it must have made one damn fine play.

The acting in this film is its major attribute, and director John Madden is wise enough to realize the talent of his ensemble and stand out of their way. He plays a bit with chronology and lets the pieces of his story click into place much like a math puzzle; I don't know whether or not this is original to the film or borrowed from the play, but either way it works well. But mostly, he lets the actors strut their stuff, and the four principals make the most of meaty roles.

Most of the acclaim has been falling, and rightly so, to Gwyneth Paltrow, who gives a full-bodied, textured and powerful performance as Catherine, who has inherited her genius at math from her father and is deathly afraid that she may have inherited his madness as well. I don't know that Paltrow has yet had a role as substantial as this one, and she flexes her acting chops in a way I have not seen her do outside of her underrated performance in "Sylvia." Hope Davis matches her scene for scene as the astringent older sister; it's refreshing to see Davis break away from the mousy, mealy persona she so frequently adopts and play this crisp, overwhelming character. The male actors have less to do overall, but the roles are perfectly cast. Jake Gyllenhaal is ripe for stardom, and this may be the year that brings it. Anthony Hopkins has been dismissed as hammy here, but I think he does an effective job of portraying mental illness, and creates heartbreaking moments that could have been ruined had they been played differently.

"Proof" feels entirely honest about the dynamics of dysfunctional families; you just know David Auburn is writing from personal experience. Like Robert Redford's "Ordinary People," if you have any exposure to similar family dynamics, you know the team that put the film together got everything just right. "Proof" also creates a parallel between mathematics and the messiness of life that makes one re-evaluate the rigidity of what always appears to be an exact science. As one must accept a level of ambiguity in life, one must also be willing to make leaps of faith in mathematics, because nothing can be 100% proved.

I highly recommend this film. It's satisfying on both an intellectual and emotional level. And any movie that can make math exciting to me gets an automatic thumbs up.

Grade: A


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