Good Will Hunting (1997)


Movie Review

Directed by: Gus Van Sant

Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård, and Minnie Driver

Will Hunting (Matt Damon), a janitor at MIT, is truly gifted.  Though he is a mathematical genius, he wastes his potential  and embraces a life of frivolity with his childhood friends from a South Boston neighborhood.  When he begins solving impossible math problems instead of mopping the floors, Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) recognizes his talent and wants to channel it.  After Will gets into a fight on the streets of South Boston and is charged with attacking a police officer, Lambeau brokers a deal with the court to keep Will out of prison.  He must study under Lambeau and attend therapy.  Unfortunately, Lambeau soon realizes that Will has no interest in realizing his potential or going to therapy.  He enlists the help of his former college roommate Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), a therapist who grew up in South Boston.

Although it has a predictable storyline, Good Will Hunting is a powerful film driven by impressive performances from Matt Damon and Robin Williams.  As we get to know Damon's character throughout the film, we increasingly realize how conflicted and tormented this young man is.  Because Damon's performance makes a connection with the audience, we actually care and are genuinely moved by Will's sad reality.  Meanwhile, Robin Williams expertly plays Sean, a down-to-earth therapist who is growing from his therapy sessions as much as Will.  Affleck, Skarsgard, and Driver also deliver notable performances in their supporting roles.  This is definitely one to watch as soon as you can.



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