Their Greatest Adversities Are Their Own Fears And Together They Must Conqueror Them
50 year acting veteran Sean Connery portrays a reclusive Pulitzer Prize winning author in �Finding Forrester� (2000), a film directed by Gus Van Sant following his successful 1997 picture �Good Will Hunting.�
50 year acting veteran Sean Connery portrays a reclusive Pulitzer Prize winning author in �Finding Forrester� (2000), a film directed by Gus Van Sant following his successful 1997 picture �Good Will Hunting.� Alongside Connery is silver screen newcomer Rob Brown, who depicts an impoverished teenage boy from the Bronx who unexpectedly finds his life mentor and creative inspiration while breaking into an apartment.
Jamal Wallace (Brown) is an African-American kid from the wrong side of the tracks (in this case Bronx, NY). Behind closed doors Jamal is an avid reader � and also a writer. Yet his friends look down upon book smarts in favor of street smarts, causing Jamal to cover up his seemingly nerdy interests. Pretending to be stupid, or rather below average was a daily routine for Jamal, a straight C student. Soon he could no longer hide his smarts when a school aptitude test revealed that he would be better suited at a distinguished private school for gifted children. The idea of such a transition irks Jamal. In the Bronx his focus was on basketball and relaxing with his friends. On the other hand, Jamal could now have a chance to flourish in an environment where intelligence is not equated with being soft.
Perhaps Jamal would have squandered this new opportunity if it weren�t for a helping hand in a most unlikely form. Jamal and his pals shoot hoops each day after school; each day they notice an old man peering through a second story apartment window with binoculars. The kids presume the man is spying on them. Jamal is dared to climb up a fire escape and jump into the old man�s apartment to see who he is and what exactly he is up to. When he does so he meets the apartment�s occupant, is frightened, and quickly runs out.
However the curious trespasser left behind his backpack containing numerous stories he had written. Assuming the backpack was lost for good, Jamal heads to school the next day and is shocked when he sees his bag in the old man�s window; he is startled a bit further when it is dropped down upon him. Yet the most interesting discovery was that the old man had painstakingly took time to critique the young writer�s work, writing numerous notes and suggestions on the notebook�s pages. Upon reading the stranger�s critiques, Jamal realizes that his invisible teacher is a seasoned writer himself.
Jamal�s curiosity cannot be tamed at this point. Desperate to discover the old man�s identity he enters his apartment building � this time lawfully through the front entrance and up its stairwell. In a short period of time Jamal discovers that the old man is renowned writer William Forrester, who drew himself into seclusion after the amazing success of his Pulitzer Prize winning debut novel, �Avalon Landing.� For years no one has known what became of him. Forrester believes that the young boy is extremely talented and agrees to mentor Jamal provided that he promises not to reveal his presence to anyone; Jamal agrees.
In the weeks that follow Forrester sprinkles his new student with his literary insights. Yet the relationship is not one sided; Jamal continually attempts to coax his teacher back into the public light. More importantly, Jamal attempts to reverse Forrester�s dreadfully bleak perception of human interaction, emphasizing the necessity of him to share his knowledge. Together they overcome their adversities as an aging author passes his literary genius onto a future generation of writers.
�Finding Forrester� is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sexual references. Its runtime is 136 minutes.