Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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predictable but entertaining enough.
This drama was pretty good. Sean Connery, Rob Brown, Anna Paquin, and the rest of the cast did a great job in this movie. The plot to the movie was pretty dramatic and interesting. It's about discovering what you really want to do in life. If you haven't seen this movie yet, check it out sometime. It's worth seeing.
Even though it gets a little precious at times, overall I really liked it.
The kid in the hall displayed zero talent and ability to act. He appeared incompetent and moved very awkwardly. He lacked any relevance in the film or its story line. This young man should relook at his career choice.
Honest, funny and touching film in which the interaction of Sean Connery and Rob Brown is accurate. This is nothing that has not been seen before, but the safe direction of Gus Van Sant is quite satisfactory.
Predictable and derivative, weak performance from the lead playing Jamal, average from Connery. This is a poor man's Good Will Hunting - ironically with Matt Damon popping up for a cameo at the end and reminding you you should be watching a better movie.
I don't remember much of this movie except that it is similar to Wonder Boys. A brilliant youngster is taken under the wings of an older man. At the core of Finding Forrester is a familiar "buddy story" - about how a brilliant, outcast youngster simultaneously learns from and teaches life lessons to a weary old-timer. Forrester tutors Jamal about how to be an author; Jamal encourages Forrester to shake off his fear of the outside world. It is a time-honored formula that, when handled properly (as in Scent of a Woman, for which Al Pacino won an Oscar), can be effective and affecting. For the most part, Van Sant and his actors hit the right notes throughout Finding Forrester, making the experience of watching the film a pleasant one. The movie doesn't make any deep or profound statements, but its unhurried exploration of the interaction between the two leads is worth spending a couple hours in a movie theater.
Books and writers and scholarships. A paper read should be the big finale and you are going to get exactly what you expect.
Gus Van Sant, the director, is my go to guy. I can understand why it won't be for everyone. For he deals with the drama that comes with or from a privileged position. That is not to say, of course, that his emotions juggled across the film is less important. But he certainly is aware of the selective audience that he might be able to draw a nod out from. Now, that is not only not an excuse but also not a recommended way to move forward. So how do you make people care about something in a larger margin? Like some controversial issue that is taking over the nation? World?
Sports, is his way in. And it should be it. There is always a quality of earning your spot or moving forward or winning an element in his films. This is what makes you earn that act of the film. This is how he makes you care for these characters. And Finding Forrester fits right in on this strategy of his. And you can see that in the very first act itself. The common and often accused issues is eliminated by Sean Connery with a commanding voice. This gets thrown out of the window.
The obvious part of the deal. So now we can roll up our sleeves and get right to the heart of the matter. A mature productive debate to solve a higher themed issue. This once again would thin out the heard that would sing along to this rhythm. But with a character driven emotionally resonant approach, Gus Van Sant whips you hard with long lasting tears. Almost, as if you are told to tear down. Not something that is rubbed on your face but gets an attention through an underrated performance. Connery and Abraham shares only one moment in the film. And that is enough.
I think this movie appeals especially to those of us who try to make a living by writing.
Movies about writers are notoriously hard to do, since writing by its nature is not cinematic. "Finding Forrester" evades that problem by giving us a man who wrote one good novel a long time ago, and now writes no more: He has turned into a recluse afraid to leave his own apartment. There are shades here of Hitchcock's "Rear Window," as Connery peaks out from behind a massive pair of binoculars, otherwise used for birding, watching for rare specimens perched to take flight-Brown's character, then, is like a black swan, thought impossible by the stuffy pendant (F. Murray Abraham in perfect form), but a reality waiting to be discovered in a land untrodden.
What makes one a writer? This is the driving question at the heart of the movie: Is it sheer talent, like Brown's character at the film's beginning? Is it a matter of mastering the rules, as Abraham's character has done? Is it about asking the right questions and being a good observer, like Connery's character, who has gone some 50 years without writing another novel? In the end, what the movie suggests is that the genius of writing cannot be identified with a single individual, but is in truth about the network of relations a person cultivates: Having lost his family, Forrester can write again once he has formed new friendships; Jamal grows as a writer, allowing his work to be exposed, once he has found himself among peers and powers that support his talent; while Crawford will never be the writer he wants to be because he intellectually isolates himself, narcissistically imagines himself as above the fray of his students.
How telling it is, then, that Brown's bedside table and Connery's apartment are overflowing with classic works of literature, while Abraham's classroom is watched over by the portraits of these great (dead white male) authors? Writing relies on and rallies signifying networks-the present review, for example, begins with words taken from Ebert's 2000 essay on the movie-and this is what Abraham's character fundamentally fails to understand. Jamal's writing succeeds because it exists in conversation with the work of others-he is even faulted and penalized for this-while Crawford treats those texts as petrified, statuesque, unable to enter into dialogue, words to quote and criticize. Surrounded by extreme wealth and power, the originality of writing has everything to do with the monetary and copyright value it produces, and not the unique genius and voice it can express.
Crawford's failure here is the failure of inflated certainty that arises from an apotheosis of egoistic mastery; Abraham's character presumes that he knows what writing is, a presumption that reifies writing and makes it into a commodifiable Thing, rather than understanding it to be a practice, an unfolding that exists only as a becoming. Hence he thinks he can locate (that is to say, "find") writing, which does not move and does not change: Crawford believes he can remove Jamal from his creative environs, from Forrester's casual apartment to his own stuffy office, and still produce the same effects, because what matters is the man (the gender matters) and not the network and emplacement. No wonder, then, that Crawford completely misses Jamal's writing potential, for he is like the hobbyist who believes the only place to watch for birds is in the park. In this view, it is as easy to overlook the possibility that creative genius could arise in the Bronx as it is easy to ignore the irony that this century's "Great American Novel" was written by a Scotsman.
And here is the greatest differend (to borrow Lyotard's term) of the film, around which its central division circles: On the one hand is an attitude best summarized by Joyce-"the supreme question about a work of art is out of how deep a life does it spring"-while on the other hand is an attitude, not the opposite but from a reverse angle, exemplified by Lacan calling the author "only a pen-pusher." What matters to Crawford is the biography of an author, a reading of the text as a keyhole into a person's private life, a philosophy shared by so many critics ("what is the writer *really* trying to say?") that it has sent Forrester into hiding; for Forrester, however, what matters about an author's life is its potential for exciting creativity and genius, not biographical facts, but how experience can be transformed and sublimated into art. To do so is to practice the work of writing.