Director: Gus Van Sant
This gem of a film came to light to me via a friend who once said “I have to see about a girl” and left for Argentina for three years. Guess where he got that line? That anecdote only skims the surface of how powerful this film is. It is in no way a movie I would have picked out on my own, and not something I would typically watch, but I’m so glad I did.
Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a janitor at MIT, seemingly meek and meanial, but when no one’s around he displays his gift for mathematics across various blackboards around the college, leading to his discovery by one of the most prestigious teachers. Unfortunately, despite his remarkable genious, Will has some issues that need to be worked out, and a surprising lack of ambition in contradiction to his vast potential. To solve this dilema, the staff at MIT enlist the help of academic Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) who delves into Hunting’s personality to uncover the reasons for his lack of direction.
Let me start off by just mentioning that the writers of this remarkable screenplay are none other than Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. I had always thought of these actors as “pretty boys” who didn’t really invest a whole lot of themselves in their films, which is why the writing in this film blew me away so much. And Robin Williams is in it, which is usually a plus. Aside from the writing, the acting is impeccable, and each character (even those who initially just seem like the steriotypical “best friend”) has wonderful developement and depth, which must be equally contributed to by the actors and the script.
The only thing I can say about this movie in a negative respect is that it’s a little long and could probably have been shortened down pretty easily without losing the integrity of the fim, script or story arc. And that the ingenious of the Will Hunting character is profoundly unrealistic… but nonetheless I would give this film a good 9/10. It’s not a perfect 10, simply because it’s not really my usuall cup of tea, and therefore not the absolute BEST movie I have ever seen, but I would not be surprised if you gave it 10/10.