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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Film Review: {proof}


Director: John Madden
Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hope Davis

Paltrow turns in an outstanding performance as the angsty daughter of a fallen Maths genius (Hopkins) in a story wrung with emotion rather than equations. At it's heart is a lucid a conversation as can be had between madness and genius played out through family dysfunction with elements of shame, legacy, redemption - and of course love - strewn in the rubble left by the death of Hopkins' cranky character.

Former student (Gyllenhaal) turns his obsession on deciphering the recently departed professor's notebooks grows into obsessively spading the departed professor's daughter. Being fragile and distraught is almost Paltrow's natural place: she does it so well. Gyllenhaal is his expressionless self and comes close to being another Matt Damon as far as range goes - almost. Davis is a wonderfully shallow and uptight older sister to Paltrow's hippyesque persona. The family dynamic is captured in all it's gruesome detail.

Plot-wise we are kept alert by a series of well paced revelations, the developing romance and the ever present holy grail of the potential uber/meta mathematical solution that may lie hidden in the insane professor's 103 handwritten notebooks. A posthumous Nobel Prize for a climax?

The issues canvassed in this modest drama are dealt with without the Hollywood over-kill and the director should be commended for the restraint.

4/5 stars


At 26/3/06 2:47 pm, Blogger pink panda said...

you got to see this one early too?


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