Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
USA, 1997. Be Gentlemen Limited Partnership, Lawrence Bender Productions, Miramax. Screenplay by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck. Cinematography by Jean-Yves Escoffier. Produced by Lawrence Bender. Music by Danny Elfman. Production Design by Missy Stewart. Costume Design by Beatrix Aruna Pasztor. Film Editing by Pietro Scalia. Academy Awards 1997. Berlin Film Festival 1998. European Film Awards 1998. Golden Globe Awards 1997.
Matt Damon plays a math genius who is hiding his light under a bushel by working odd jobs as a construction worker and janitor. Best friend Ben Affleck stands by him but hopes one day his friend will go off in the direction that waits for him, psychiatrist Robin Williams tries to open him up to his personal problems and help him move on, and girlfriend Minnie Driver offers him a choice to be worthy of her or let her slip away. All these actors are brilliant in this very moving drama written by its two lead actors, who both won Academy Awards for their work and have since become big stars. For some this film will be an endless excuse to let poster-boys preen and moan about themselves, not to mention Gus Van Sant’s fans who will be disappointed not to see him doing something as cutting edge as his films (To Die For, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho) usually are, but the film still has its moments. Driver tells a dirty joke that is one of her best ever moments on film.