Top positive review
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Unlikely plot line that will appeal to all, brilliant acting
on January 4, 2017
My 2017 New Year’s resolution is to watch movies I missed in the theater but still wanted to see years later. This was second on the list, and needs to be on everyone’s list. The plot line of a minimally educated young janitor (Will Hunting played by Matt Damon) solving advanced linear algebra problems on Harvard chalkboards may not sound appealing, but rest assured that you can relate to this movie. We all sat next to that high school classmate who aced exams after barely studying. Although we hated that guy, we can’t hate Will Hunting because of his tortured past that you can’t fully understand until the end of the movie.
Robin Williams appears in the movie later than expected, and his role is understated but critically important. Knowing that we can no longer see new movies from this brilliant actor, it’s even more important not to miss his surprising and heartbreaking role.
It’s easy to take Ben Affleck for granted because of his role as Will Hunting’s smart-Alec friend. But one of the best scenes in the movie is initiated by Affleck when he angrily tells Will to make something of himself because so few people have the opportunities invited by Will’s rare gift. This prompts the sad-but-happy scene at the end of the movie when Will decides to change.
Minnie Driver makes the most of her script, but her character is a caricaturized female mess when Will refuses to move with her to California. The screenwriters could have done better by presenting a believable female Harvard scholar with her own complicated dimensions.
Classic movie that you will appreciate for different reasons at different times in your life.