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Home > Finding Forrester
Finding Forrester
Finding Forrester


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Sales Rank: 2,951

Actors: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin, Matt Damon
Director: Gus Van Sant
Rating: PG-13
Features: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Running Time: 136 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Release Date: April 24, 2001
Theatrical Release Date: December 19, 2000
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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Finding Forrester could have been a shallow variant of The Karate Kid, congratulating itself for featuring a 16-year-old black kid from the South Bronx who's a brilliant scholar-athlete. Instead, director Gus Van Sant plays it matter-of-fact and totally real, casting a nonactor Rob Brown as Jamal, a basketball player and gifted student whose writing talent is nurtured by a famously reclusive author. William Forrester Sean Connery became a literary icon four decades earlier with a Pulitzer-winning novel, then disappeared like J.D. Salinger into his dark, book-filled apartment, agoraphobic and withdrawn from publishing, but as passionate as ever about writing. On a dare, Jamal sneaks into Forrester's musty sanctuary, and what might have been a condescending cliché--homeboy rescued by wiser white mentor--turns into an inspiring meeting of minds, with mutual respect and intelligence erasing boundaries of culture and generation.

Comparisons to Van Sant's Good Will Hunting are inevitable, but Finding Forrester is more honest and less prone to touchy-feely sentiment, as in the way Jamal and a private-school classmate Anna Paquin develop a mutual attraction that remains almost entirely unspoken. The film takes a conventional turn when Jamal must defend his integrity with Forrester's help in a writing contest judged by a skeptical teacher F. Murray Abraham, but this ethical subplot is a credible catalyst for Forrester's most dramatic display of friendship. It's one of many fine moments for Connery and Brown a screen natural, in a memorable film that transcends issues of race to embrace the joy of learning. --Jeff Shannon

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