Good Will Hunting

Year: 1997
Production Co: Lawrence Bender Productions
Studio: Miramax
Director: Gus Van Sant
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Writer: Matt Damon/Ben Affleck
Cast: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Stellan Skarsgård, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser
The first time I tried to watch Good Will Hunting, I gave up. Something about Matt Damon's character seemed too smarmy, too unsubtle. His powers seemed too superhuman, and when he was a thug and a no hoper, I didn't want to see him prevail in life so I turned it off.

The only reason I ever intended to return to it and watch the whole thing was because of Robin Williams. Despite his comedy background, he's one of the best dramatic actors working today, and the part of Sean is perfect for him.

The meat in the story is in the interaction between Sean and Will. The professor who identifies Will's talent amid his working class background - Gerald (Skarsgård) - wants to turn him into a maths prodigy. He shares a terse friendship full of bitter history with therapist Sean, so asks his friend to work with Will to realise his potential.

But what nobody has ever thought to ask Will is what he wants, which Sean does, and this simple but smart man is the first one to get through to Will in his life.

There are plenty of worthy messages; the most important of which culminates in despite his having been able to make a fortune or have anything he wants because of his talent, he just wants to be able to live a normal life and follow Skylar (Driver), the girl he couldn't help pushing away.

I still didn't like Will's character too much, but Affleck as his best friend Chuckie was great and had some of the best lines in the movie (including one of their last scenes together at the building site where Chuckie tells him in his own way how stupid Will is for squandering his gift).

It was full of heart and talent, and two of Hollywood's current leading men deserve their success (although it's turned bad for Affleck over recent years).

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