Directed by Gus Van Sant
Running Time: 2:06
A lot has been said about Good Will Hunting.
Everything from movie of the year, to a yawner. I would put it somewhere
in the middle. Matt Damon plays Will Hunting, a young man from Boston who
is brilliant, but also a troublemaker. He has a gift, something that he
could use to get out of the down-trodden life he lives, but he's afraid,
of his gift, and of leaving what he knows. But when as part of his probation
for assaulting a police officer, he is released into the care of an M.I.T.
professor, he has to face his fears face on. This is done with his psychologist,
played by Robin Williams. For me, the movie came alive when Williams showed
up. Up until that point, it was well done, but basic. Williams has the
ability in his movies to either totally take control of a scene, or to
sit back and play off the other actors. I know he's generally seen as a
comedic actor, but he's one of the few that can also pull of a serious
role. After he meets Will, he sort of meets his match. After losing his
wife to cancer, he went into his own shell, staying with what he knew,
what was safe. But while he teaches Will to meet his fears head on, Will
also teaches him a few things.
Once again, the plot is somewhat predictable. When Williams' character
says early on that he skipped Game 6 of the World Series because he had
to see about a woman, you knew that line would come back later on, and
it did. The thing that makes this movie worthwhile, was the performance
of Williams. I know everyone is talking about Matt Damon being the next
big thing, and the script he and friend and co-star Ben Affleck wrote,
is strong. But the person that carries the film, in my mind, is Robin Williams.
And having Minnie
Driver in the movie doesn't hurt (my bias for beautiful women comes
through again). So even though you can guess what's going to happen next,
the dialogue between the characters (and they all do a good job of holding
on the Boston accent the entire film), and the superior acting carry the
movie a long way. Not a yawner, not movie of the year, but fun to watch.