Searching for Bobby Fischer
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This is a story about finding one's character and courage in the face of mounting pressure and high expectations. It's about a very young boy who wants to be sure his father loves him for who he is, not just for what he can do.
Written and directed by Steven Zaillian (who wrote, among other things, the screenplay for Spielberg's "Schindler's List"), SFBF is a heartwarming movie that has you rooting and cheering. And young Max Pomeranc is a real fine young actor! Multiple Oscar-nominee Joan Allen plays the boy's mother in this film, and here she continues to solidify her position as one of the most wonderful actresses working today. Will she EVER get the widespread recognition she deserves?
A poignant point in the movie is made when Josh's coach angrily tells him his behavior is inconsistent with prior champion Bobby Fischer. The prodigy replies, "Well, I'm not him." This is a movie an entire family can enjoy together. The PG rating is earned from drug dealers and gamblers depicted in the park where people play chess.
Movie quote: "To put a child in a position to care about winning and not to prepare him is wrong."
Unlike Fischer, however, Waitzkin is a regular kid (or was, he's in his early 20's now), who loves baseball, fishing, other games, like Clue and Monopoly. He also likes playing blitz chess in Washington Square Park with the men, some of them homeless, yet still gifted chess players, who charge tourists for games to make a living, and play one another to prove their prowess.
(The Washington Square Park players are real, by the way. Washington Square Park is in Manhattan a few blocks above Greenwich Village. It's a well kept park. Street performers often ply their trade there as well, and you can take your pick of street vended food.)
Bobby Fischer single-mindedly pursued chess. He was the son of a single mother, who quite literally spent every moment he could muster working on chess problems. When he could find no one to challenge him, he played himself, and as Max Pomeranc in the film, playing Josh, says "He always won." Armchair shrinks diagnose Fischer with Antisocial Personality Disorder, Sub-clinical Schizophrenia, Asperger's Syndrome, and a host of other neurological disorders; one of them may be right, but as far as I know, Fischer has never submitted to a D&E.
There is nothing wrong with Josh Waitzkin. He loves chess, but not to the exclusion of other pursuits. He loves chess enough to spend most of his time at it, just not all. He loves chess as long as it remains fun. He loves the rush of the daring and audacious blitz chess of the Park.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like the most of the teenagers by then, the victory of Bobby Fischer (one of the major international feats of that year) meant for me a true inspirational vehicle in order to get... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
One of the better movies for all ages. Tells an important story about how to deal with a child prodigy. Parental involvement and good character are all part of the story.Published 1 month ago by Steven H. Adler