See This: Finding Forrester

Sean Connery in Finding Forrester
Sean Connery as the reclusive writer in Finding Forrester

 

 

A young ghetto kid (Rob Brown) breaks into the local recluse’s house only to discover it’s his literary hero, an author whose one novel has been followed by nothing except a mysterious silence for 40 years. The gruff old codger doesn’t bark at the kid and send him on his way. Nor does he shoot him with the gun he keeps on his bedside table. He doesn’t do either of these things because we’re in master-and-protégé territory, a fact which director Gus Van Sant cunningly seems to have made us fully aware of before the film has announced that that’s what it is. And he’s done that maybe to dial down our expectations.

This is not an action movie, not a plot-driven film either, it’s an exercise in gentle elegiac storytelling, a soul-warming stew concocted from muted visuals, a plaintive jazz soundtrack (lots of Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman), bucketloads of Americana and as much sentiment as the body can tolerate. It’s also, like Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting, the story of a gifted young person being encouraged to let their light shine. Speaking of which, Matt Damon turns up in a small role, part of a useful and eclectic cast including F Murray Abraham, Busta Rhymes, Anna Paquin and Michael Pitt. In the role of the aged writer is Sean Connery, who gives it all the leather and walnut of a stately civic library. He’d only make one more film after this before retiring, and that was the relatively disastrous The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Here, playing what everyone fancies is a crypto JD Salinger, is late-era Connery at his best.

© Steve Morrissey 2013

 

 Finding Forrester – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

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  • Finding Forrester (2000) Drama | 2h 16min | 12 January 2001 (USA) 7.3
    Director: Gus Van SantWriters: Mike RichStars: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray AbrahamSummary: Because of scoring exceptionally high on a statewide standardized exam, and being an exceptionally good basketball player, Jamal Wallace is sent to a prestigious prep school in Manhattan. He soon befriends the reclusive writer, William Forrester. Written by the chan man

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