Sunday, August 19, 2012


Written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Starring Matt Damon, Minnie Driver, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck

Chuckie Sullivan: You know what the best part of my day is? For about 10 seconds, from when I pull up to the curb to when I get to your door, because I think maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll knock on the door and you won’t be there.

I can remember quite clearly what it was like the first time I saw Gus Van Sant’s GOOD WILL HUNTING. It was a particularly snowy winter day which seemingly kept the crowds away from the theatre. It was before Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had become the stuff of Hollywood legend. And while the story of two friends writing themselves a screenplay that would defy all odds to go on and win the Academy Award and make their careers is a story well worth celebrating, it did take away from the film itself. Fifteen years later, the hype has also subsided which allows GOOD WILL HUNTING to to shine brighter than it ever has.

Damon plays Will Hunting, a genius who also just happens to have come from an abusive childhood, an orphan shuffling around from one foster home to the next. After he solves an equation on a chalk board at M.I.T., he runs into more trouble with the law. To avoid jail time, he must meet with an M.I.T. professor weekly to study advanced math, as well as a therapist, to deal with his emotional issues. Enter Robin Williams, in an Oscar-winning turn, as the only therapist Hunting will work with. This is where the film truly takes on its own life and then Van Sant, just drives it home.

GOOD WILL HUNTING makes its first appearance on Blu-ray with a 15-year anniversary edition. Previous DVD features, likes audio commentary from Van Sant, Damon and Affleck for instance, make repeat appearances here. A reflection featurette contains all new interviews with the majority of the cast and reveals so much insight into the making of the film. As Damon and Affleck look back, their appreciation for that moment in time is abundantly obvious, making this anniversary edition well worth celebrating.


Dan O. said...

Good review. This film bothers me in certain areas because it seems like the script just asks for these long, verbal montages that don't seem like they would actually be said in real-life, but I guess that's why you call it the movies? Still, a great flick with some real, heartfelt performances from everybody in the cast.

Tippi said...

LOVE this movie (though I feel like everything with Minnie Driver gets pretty boring)!

@Dan: Ben Affleck told the story of how they wrote it on Inside the Actor's Studio, and it boiled down to "Well we knew we needed a part for a famous guy with a lot of fancy speeches (Robin Williams), plus a chick, plus a bad guy. We decided to do it like E.T. and make the government the bad guy." Can't argue with that!

Black Sheep said...

@Dan I did feel the dialogue to be a bit scripted at times but I can easily look past it when I look at how much I love everything else. It may be a 4-star movie if I was truly critical but the extra star comes around when a movie truly touches me. Heartfelt, indeed!

@Tippi I loved Minnie Driver in this! Their whole first date was so much fun. She was so natural, I found.

And the anniversary edition extras have Damon and Affleck telling the story of how the script came together as well. Pretty much what you described here but its great to hear them tell it. Also Williams and Van Sant also look back. You can tell this film truly changed their lives.