Rabid Reviews: Good Will Hunting

Directed by: Gus Van Sant
Screenplay by: Matt Damon & Ben Affleck
Running time: 126 mins
Rated: R

Main Characters: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Stellen Skarsgard, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, and Cole Hauser

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won their claim to fame in this witty, heartfelt, and timelessly classic story of learning how to let go of the past and move on to the future. Damon portrays Will Hunting, a genius working in the janitorial department in Boston’s prestigious MIT. He suffered a bad childhood as an orphan, being transferred from one abusive foster home to another. He’s grown up thinking that the blue collar life that he has become accustomed to is all that he is good enough for, and that he can’t become close to anybody because they will just hurt him in the end. This is the story of how he learned to overcome fear of the unknown, and learned to believe in himself with the help of therapist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), his girlfriend Skylar (Minnie Driver), and his three longtime friends. This movie took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor - Robin Williams, and Best Screenplay - Matt Damon & Ben Affleck.

Matt Damon does a stunning performance as Will Hunting the bad boy genius in and out of trouble. He runs the gamut of emotions, from cocky bravado to soul baring vulnerability all with utter believability.

Robin Williams takes the cake in one of the best roles I’ve seen him take on. He learns to connect with the troubled boy he is confronted with and together they teach each other how to grow up and make your life what you want it to be. His portrayal of Sean, Will’s therapist simply brought tears to my eyes during certain scenes.

Stellen Skarsgard does an excellent job as Prof. Gerald Lambeau, the slightly jealous, but supportive professor that gives Will the push he needs to embrace his gift.

Minnie Driver is charming, and lovable, not only capturing Will’s heart, but the hearts of the audience as well.

Finally, Ben and Casey Affleck, along with Cole Hauser play the friends Will has grown up with and looks to as his family. Ben’s character, Chuckie Sullivan, does a wonderful job supporting Will and making him realize that there’s more out there for him than what he has. And the four of them together make you feel like they’ve actually been best friends all their lives.

The script was superb, very realistic right down to the swear words that peppered it! The storyline was plausible and believable, the acting was amazing, and the character dynamics were flawless. If this is what Ben and Matt are capable of creating together, then I will be first in line for their next venture!

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