The film delivers an intellectually and emotionally fulfilling story. Cast with real life friends and screenplay authors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, dialogue is realistic, if sometimes too quick, accents thick, and asides perhaps too inside for the audience to catch. A nice moment intimating Damon and Affleck's long time friendship is a glance into their characters' daily routine--the fluid motion of sliding into the car, coffee in hand, and moving off. The storyweaving of all four throughlines is tight--a scene depicting the passionate argument can also contain points pertinent to the main character, influence character, and objective story throughline (e.g., Sean McGuire in his psychologist role). It is no surprise this fine first effort has, as of this review, already been awarded Best Original Screenplay from the foreign press, and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Will Hunting is a punk prodigy. He is the main character; his problems occur in the physics domain. Will is concerned with doing what it takes to get by--his activities have no inherent purpose. Abandoned and abused, Will carries a colossal chip on his shoulder--he is a do-er who strikes out with his fists, and defends himself and his friends with brilliant intellect ("My boy's wicked smart"). He has a male mental sex, particularly well represented in his symptom of cause and response of effect, yet his genius, in a sense, is holistic:
Stone deaf and he [Beethoven] saw all of that music in his head. SKYLAR
So, do you play the piano?
Not a lick. I look at a piano and I see black and white keys, three pedals and a box of wood. Beethoven, Mozart, they looked at it and it just made sense to them. They saw a piano and they could play. SKYLAR
--But you can do my O-Chem lab in under an hour, you can--
--When it came to stuff like that I could always just play.
Will works as a janitor at M.I.T. under the auspices of the Parole Employment Program. That...
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