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Proof

3.7 out of 5 stars 158 customer reviews

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Proof
Proof

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Editorial Reviews

From the acclaimed director of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, PROOF stars Oscar(R) winners Gwyneth Paltrow (Best Actress, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, 1998) and Anthony Hopkins (Best Actor, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, 1991), along with Jake Gyllenhaal (JARHEAD, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN) and Hope Davis (ABOUT SCHMIDT). It's a powerful story of a young woman haunted by her father's past and the shadow of her own future. Catherine (Paltrow) has devoted years to caring for her brilliant but mentally unstable father, Robert (Hopkins), a mathematical genius. But when his genius slips away, he leaves behind a mystery that affects her life ... and her own sanity. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes with optional commentary
  • From Stage to Screen: The Making of Proof

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hope Davis, Roshan Seth
  • Directors: John Madden
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (158 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JNM3
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,392 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Proof" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
It's interesting that most people tend to have a problem with the screenplay for this movie, when it is almost word for word the stage play, which is renowned for its elegance and simplicity. Perhaps the issue comes up in the flashbacks and the ending, both of which disagree with the play. Still, as a stage adaptation to film, Proof does the job beautifully. The characters remain true to their original 2-dimensionality; it is the apparent lack of emotion that actually lends itself to intense feelings from the viewer.
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Format: DVD
Proof of a mathematical equation and proof of madness are the two driving forces in John Madden's film. Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) who cared for her brilliant mathematician father Robert (Anthony Hopkins) is afraid that she's inherited his other "gift"-mental illness. Catherine cared for her father Robert during the end. When Claire (Hope Davis) Catherine's sister arrives home for the funeral she expresses concern for Catherine's mental state. Catherine begins to doubt her own teetering sanity. Robert's assistant Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal) rummages around Robert's papers the night before and after the funeral trying to find an important equation her father was working on before he died. Featuring a group of strong performances, "Proof" is a compelling drama about grief, madness and emotional seclusion. Although Madden's drama suffers from the stage origins of the play but the emotional high wire act the cast performs makes it worthwhile. Whether or not there's "proof" of this film being a "great" film is based on how drawn into the drama you are by the appealing cast. A warning about some of the other reviews here--there good reviews but some of them have spoilers that give away a lot of the plot of the film. If you want to be surpised and enjoy the ride then I'd suggest you skip reading these reviews.

"Proof" looks extremely good here with natural skin tones, sharp image quality and nice definition. The 5.1 audio isn't exactly designed for the format since this a dialogue driven film but there is nice ambient sounds evident in the other speakers.

A clinical but interesting commentary track by John Madden is interesting to listen to but would have been enlightened by the cast's contribution.
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Format: DVD
John Madden, who directed Shakespeare in Love (1998), and David Auburn, who wrote the script (adapted from his play), have put together a moving story about mathematical genius admixed with mental instability much in the manner of the life of John Nash who was the subject of A Beautiful Mind (2001).

Nash was a paranoid schizophrenic who was tormented by voices in his head warning him of dangers and conspiracies that didn't exist. Like Nash, Robert (Anthony Hopkins) is a brilliant mathematician who, having done spectacular work in his early twenties, goes crazy. Unlike Nash he is never able to regain control of "the machinery," as he calls his mind, and is never able to do any worthwhile work again.

Or is he? As he is taken care of by his mathematically astute daughter, Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow in a most affecting and beguiling performance) he fills scores of notebooks with intense writings. At one point he seems in remission and at another point Catherine rushes home to find him in out in the backyard in the middle of a snowy night fired with enthusiasm about his latest work. At another point, he and Catherine work together on a project. And herein lies the crux of the matter. As we discover, this project turns out to be a proof of a difficult mathematical theorem or conjecture that will be internationally celebrated if it is correct.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Hal, one of Robert's students who is going through his mentor's papers in the hope of discovering something wonderful. Catherine tells him that among the 103 notebooks that her father filled during his days of mental instability there is not a single one that has anything of value in it. But when Hal wins her heart she produces a notebook that was locked away in a drawer.
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Format: DVD
PROOF is one of those rare films that transfers a superb play directly to the screen without losing a bit of the power of the play, but enhancing the story with the advantages of the camera. With a tough story like this one it takes a brilliant cast and director to fine-tune the work and in this instance it all works to perfection.

The story is well known from all the PR of the theatrical screening: recounting it in a review does not add or subtract the importance of the film or the experience of the viewer. The premise, mathematician Robert (Anthony Hopkins) and his caretaker daughter Catherine (Gweneth Paltrow) who also is an uncommonly bright 27-year-old mathematics mind and has spent the glowing years of her youth caring for her recently deceased father. They converse in flashbacks, a means of realizing the closeness of their bond emotionally, mentally, and probably parallel mental illness proclivities. Robert left notebooks filled with thoughts and clues to a complex mathematical proof and Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), a devoted admirer of Robert's genius, is organizing the thoughts and deciphering the meanings of Robert's scribblings. Catherine's estranged sister Claire (Hope Davis) arrives to 'settle' the matters left by Robert's demise and becomes the camera that brings focus to the fact that Catherine has inherited not only her father's genius but his mental fragility as well. How this quartet - Robert, Catherine, Hal, Claire - serve to unravel the findings of Robert's (and Catherine's) legacy is the essence of this gripping tale.

A more powerful group of actors for this film would be difficult to find.
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