a/perture Cinema, AFI, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Elliott Smith, Good Will Hunting, Gus Van Sant, IMDb, Matt Damon, Minnie Driver, Netflix, Robin Williams, Rotten Tomatoes, Stellan Skarsgård, The BCPF, The Less Desirables, WSNC
a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Good Will Hunting (1997) starring Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård and Minnie Driver.
Per IMDb: “Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.”
Will (Damon) is a hot-headed, short-fused janitor/construction worker/all-around laborer that spends a lot of time in trouble. But, he’s a mathematics genius that can out wiz the professors at M.I.T. Trouble seems to find him all the time and he ends up in jail, but not before professor Gerald Lambeau (Skarsgård) sees his potential. Lambeau gets the courts to release Will under the conditions that he does math sessions
with him and he agrees to see a therapist. But, because Will is a bit of a punk and socially defensive, he goes against every psychiatrist that he’s put in front of until Lambeau calls on his old college roommate, Sean Maguire (Williams) who has to work to get into Will’s head, if he even does.
Jerry and Sean’s past comes back as they had a contentious and competitive relationship in school and again in trying to formulate Will’s future; Jerry wants to have him work for big name corporations or government agencies while Sean just wants him to be the best him he can be. Another parallel story is his love affair, or fear thereof, with Skylar (Driver) and how he pushes her away to protect himself. Does Will take a job or just do what he can to survive? Does he mend the hole with Skylar? You’ll have to watch to find out.
It took me a few minutes to get acclimated to the “authentic” Bostonian accent. I know that the Affleck brothers (Casey was in the film, too) and Damon are all from Boston and know it well. It’s just harsh at first. Almost enough to make you “wicked pissed.”
This was the first time I ever remember knowing who Matt Damon was. Yeah, he had been in other stuff but this was what really broke him out. I think his association with Ben Affleck was what turned me off. I don’t know what it was about Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio that made me discount their acting abilities, but really, they do a good job, especially Leo, but it took a long time to understand that they didn’t suck as much as the stigma of “status” or “hipster” films tainted my view of them. This film wasn’t such, in fact, it was a really good film.The acting, from all parties involved was good. No other way to state that. It was very, very good. I can add a bunch of superlatives (I’m good with verbosity) but it’s just filler. Danged fine film.
I hate that Robin Williams didn’t get more credit for his serious acting. He was known mostly as a wired, buffoonish comedian who had a severe case of Adult ADHD. Dead Poets’ Society, One-Hour Photo and this film are just a few of the examples of how good an actor he was. He is missed.
Back to this film, though, Damon and Affleck wrote it and Gus Van Sant directed it. It started as a writing project for Damon at Harvard and he collaborated with his buddy to finish it. It earned them an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It also earned Williams a Best Supporting Actor award. It was nominated for nine Oscars overall. It was one of the 400 nominees for AFI‘s 100 Years… 100 Movies. One of The BCPF’s favorite artists of all time, the late Elliott Smith, has several songs on the soundtrack and was nominated for an Oscar for “Miss Misery.”
Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 97% Fresh with an Audience score of 94%. Outstanding, that is. IMDb rates it at 8.3 stars out of 10. I watched the film on Netflix streaming although I had seen it before. I enjoyed it a good bit and rate it 4.5 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What would you like to see me ramble on about?
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“How do you like them apples?” – Will Hunting