In the journey from boy to man, some lose sight of their dreams. Others never find their dreams at all. Finding Forrester is a film about finding dreams, and making them happen, and is certain end up as one of the finest films of the year.
For someone like me, who has spent his life wondering what he is supposed to be, Finding Forrester really hits close to home. For anyone who has ever longed for something more, but assumed they could never achieve it, this film will touch your soul.
Its not a film about white and black... though race is an issue in the film. Nor is it just a teacher/student film. In many ways, Forrester is reminiscent of Mr. Holland's Opus only it takes on a much more personal, human level than Opus could; if only because of the simple fact that writing itself is, in the final analysis, the most personal and intimate form of expression there is. As a viewer, you really FEEL that intimate relationship between the writer and his work as a striking theme throughout the movie. But at no time is it conveyed overtly, rather its presented through the body of work present on the screen.
Sean Connery, as always is amazing. How does he manage to convey frailty with such an undertone of incredible strength? His character, William Forrester has much to teach young Jamal about writing. But, the interesting thing is, that he never really teaches him how to write, rather, he instead shows him how to make his PASSION for writing transfer itself onto the page. Ultimately, William Forrester is almost TO passionate about his work and we discover it was that passion which drove him into seclusion and burned him so that he shied away from publishing his work.
Most movies like this would have stopped and spent a good half hour exploring the whole black/white racism issue or the rich/poor class issue. However, its refreshing to see a film that takes a different course for once and chooses instead to focus on the relationship between these two, the aspiring, and the accomplished, and their work together. We do take brief side trips into the struggles of living in the ghetto and the difficulty of being a smart kid in a place where being smart is likely only to earn abuse, but these moments are not really a story unto themselves. Instead, they serve to shape and mold the character Jamal in the eyes of the audience; to help us better understand the boy he is and the man he will become.
The Hobbit is known for saying something funny at this point, but this time I have nothing. Only a sincere and profound admiration for the REAL writers of the world and for those like Jamal who have overcome the obstacles before them and found their dream.
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Reviewed By: Joshua Tyler