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Finding Forrester [DVD] 
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Sean Connery stars as a reclusive writer in this drama directed by Gus van Sant. Talented basketball player Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) has dreams of becoming a successful writer and finds unlikely help in the form of William Forrester (Connery), a reclusive novelist who lives in his neighbourhood. The pair meet when the 16-year-old breaks into Forrester's flat, but a warm student-teacher bond soon develops between them, with Forrester helping Jamal improve his writing and Jamal aiding Forrester in overcoming his reclusiveness. However, when Jamal rewrites a piece of his new friend's work for a school assignment, his vindictive professor Robert Crawford (F. Murray Abraham) accuses him of plagiarism, a charge which could seriously affect his school career. The cast also includes Anna Paquin, Busta Rhymes and Michael Pitt.
Finding Forrester is a very accomplished example of the sentimental melodrama that Gus Von Sant has made his own--issues like integrity and snobbery are presented with just enough simplification to the set pieces that no-one feels challenged. Brilliant baseball player Jamal gets the chance to move from a sink school in the Bronx to a private academy where his real intellectual and artistic talent will be nurtured along with his sporting skills. This is an American film about class and race, but one that makes the real issue Jamal's unsuspecting need to defend himself against accusations of plagiarism. His artistic mentor is a reclusive novelist, whose whereabouts he keeps secret even when he stands to lose everything. Rob Brown is extraordinary as the boy, conveying the sensitivity, genius, obstinacy and physicality of a character written as a paragon; Sean Connery turns in a predictably fine performance as Forrester, using his authority to make the part credible; F Murray Abrahams is, as always, an effective villain--he brings an observed creepy snobbery to the film; Anna Paquin makes a good impression in the minor part of Jamal's white schoolfellow and supporter.
On the DVD: The disc includes two powerful deleted scenes of school choirs, a "making-of" documentary and a short film about the auditions process which found Rob Brown. It has fine sound--Dolby Digital 5.1--that brings out the film's jazz score perfectly. The anamorphic 2.35:1 aspect ratio, enhanced for 16:9 TVs, looks just fine. --Roz Kaveny
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23 April 2015
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Finding Forrester is a really good story, Sean Connery is excellent as the somewhat recluse Forrester who befriends the talented Jemal Wallace played by Rob Brown and as the story unfolds it seems that the two characters need each other's help. Well worth watching and like "Good Will Hunting" it leaves you feeling that the you have seen a great film.
3 July 2016
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
Very inspiring movie. One of Sean Connery's last movies before his retirement. From the director of Good Will Hunting, the movie is set in a Prep school with a fish out of water Jamal who's invited to the school due to his outstanding test scores. He meets a reclusive author who teaches him how to truly 'write'. It inspired me when I first saw this film, and I was able to write a book. Now to get it published! :)
28 August 2016
Format: Amazon VideoVerified Purchase
Saw this when it was released in the cinema and it is still 5 stars. Very encouraging story. Sometimes it's the little people who everyone else has written off who have the greatest impact on another's life.
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