4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HEART FELT, REALISTIC FANTASY,
This review is from: Finding Forrester [DVD]  (DVD)
Having taught a few decades ago in the South Bronx, I found the setting and kids portrayed in FINDING FORRESTER refreshingly believable. I was getting to think that Hollywood could only find thugs and drug addicts among its usual stereotypes of poor black kids living in such areas. So it was refreshing and even encouraging to be treated to a story with top actors, led by one of its action-adventure, senior sex symbols Sean Connery, as the titled recluse novelist Forrester.
The celebrated F. Murray Abraham did a creditable job portraying the nemesis of the central character Jamal played by, who years ago would have been called a "natural actor," Rob Brown. By now, most people reading this must known the plot: basketball superstar ghetto teenager is discovered to be a literary genius who struggles with his identity while being given the chance to succeed on a scholarship at a prestigious private high school.
The budding teen writer meets a hermit novelist buried away in his 'hood, and the two become friends and literary soul mates. I liked the story and the acting for the most part. Connery and Brown were a marvelous team. However, much as I like Abraham as an actor it seemed to me he played the personality of his villain (Jamal's English composition teacher who tries to get him expelled by proving the kid's brilliant essays were all plagiarized writing) a bit too much like Salieri in AMADEUS. Maybe, had I not seen the Mozart movie this would not have irritated me so much. Nevertheless, I can't hold that against the movie.
Uplifting, realistic fantasies, avoiding stereotypes and not challenging common sense have become such a rarity these days that five stars is a fair rating for this thoroughly enjoyable movie. I'll bet teenagers like it too.