Finding ForresterDecember 19, 2000
An afro-american teen writing prodigy finds a mentor in a reclusive author.
Release Year: 2000
Rating: 7.2/10 (44,809 voted)
Critic's Score: 62/100
Gus Van Sant
Stars: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham
Because of scoring exceptionaly high on a state wide standardized exam and being an exceptionally good basketball player Jamal Wallace is sent to a prestigious prep school in Manhattan. He soon befriends the reclusive writer, William Forrester. The friendship leads to William to overcome his reclusivness and for Jamal to overcome the racial prejudices and pursue his true dream – writing.
F. Murray Abraham
Prof. Robert Crawford
Massie, Forrester's Delivery Man
(as Zane Copeland Jr.)
Fly Williams III
In an ordinary place, he found the one person to make his life extraordinary.
Release Date: 19 December 2000
Filming Locations: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $701,207
(25 December 2000)
(15 April 2001)
Did You Know?
When Connery is speaking to the man delivering his shopping, Connery replies, "Of course you are." This same remark is also said by Connery in
Diamonds Are Forever,
Rising Sun and also by Clancy Brown in the film
Highlander which also stars Sean Connery.
US Flag hung incorrectly in opening scenes. When displayed vertically on a wall, the blue field should be in the upper left corner. The film shows it in the upper right.
We've been talking about your book at school.
People have been talking about it for years. They just haven't been saying anything.
I think I got it down, though. I figure you were writing about how life never works out.
Really? You had to read a book to figure that out?
As a person who enjoys good movies, as well as reading and writing, I loved
this film, and would see it again. Some may accuse it of being formulaic,
but I feel that there is just enough unexpected-ness in it to keep the
audience interested. I would hope that the apparent similarities to the
director, Gus Van Sant's earlier work, Good Will Hunting, do not dissuade
anyone from seeing the film. Any similarities are unimportant and do not
take away from the fact that this is a good movie which stands alone as a
deep film with an good plot. The script is very well written and all of the
dialog appears real and natural. It is a thought provoking drama, but it
not depressing or sappy, as all too many dramas are. At the same time, it
does not give the impression of simply being a feel-good movie. Also,
although there are several humorous lines in the movie, they do not rely on
cheap puns or slap stick humor.
William Forester once wrote a Pulitzer Prize winning book, but now is a
recluse, hiding from his fame, who never leaves his book-filled apartment
the Bronx, but spends his time reading and bird watching, as well as
watching the teenagers of the neighborhood play basketball in the park
outside his window. Jamal Wallace is one of these teenagers. He hides his
love of reading, and his brilliant writing skills, and chooses instead to
gain the acceptance of his peers through his skill at basketball. A prep
school has offered Jamal a scholarship because of his high test scores, and
their need to win a basketball championship. The two characters meet, and
Forester becomes a sort of teacher/mentor, but both learn many things from
each other. Symbolism is important in this film, and it makes many good
points about people, how we relate to each other, and how we deal with the
difficulties of life.
The movie stays away from any violence and sex. It is rated PG-13 because
of brief strong language and sexual references, but even these are few, and
not over done, using only what is necessary to create real characters and
setting — a refreshing difference from many films that are now being made.
The message of the film is good and moral, but it was wonderful to see a
serious film staring a young black person that does not hit you over the
head with messages of racial tolerance.
One of the surprises in the film is the great soundtrack. It is mostly
songs from Miles Davis and others, which seems well suited to the mood of
the movie and to the setting, another well done part of the film. The
song, a medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World"
is great. I was happy that this movie had refused to do what many recent
movies have done in capitalizing on a soundtrack and trying to use or
hit pop songs in a movie. It also stays away from sappy and unnecessary
orchestra music that is often used to try to create emotion in the
This movie does not need to resort to tricks like this in order to make
feel for the characters. Another happy surprise is a cameo from Matt
The acting is wonderful, particularly from the experienced Sean Connery,
playing the title character, and from newcomer Robert Brown, as Jamal. Even
the more minor parts in the film, such as Jamal's older brother, played by
Busta Rhymes, and Jamal's friends and teachers are well-acted. Anna Paquin
is well suited for her role as Claire, a rich girl from the prep school
Jamal transfers to. The two seem to make a connection, but a romantic
subplot is not pursued very far in the film. I found this a refreshing
change, and one of the factors that kept the movie from being too
predictable, as well as much more realistic. Real life romances do not
usually happen the way they often do in films. A disappointment was the
character played by F. Murray Abraham. Although well acted, there is a
complete lack of character development, and the
stereotype is hard to ignore. Despite this one shortcoming, this is an
As the film ended and the credits began to roll, I noticed that no one in
the theater got up to leave, as is usually the case in theaters. The
audience remained seated until the credits and music had finished, and the
lights came back on. It is just that kind of a movie. I would defiantly
recommend it to anyone wishing to see a mature and thought-provoking film
that is entertaining and enjoyable to watch, and will leave you feeling