As I’m sure you have all heard by now, yesterday Robin Williams very unfortunately passed away. It really is terrible, as he was one of the most talented and inspirational actors of the past generation. The passing of celebrities is a very tough subject, as I want to respect their memories, so instead of discussing Robin Williams’s work at length, I decided to remember him and celebrate his body of work by re-watching and reviewing my favorite performance by him. I have actually never seen Dead Poet’s Society, but will watch it tonight and get a review out soon. But until then, let’s celebrate the role that won Mr. Williams an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, as it should have.
I am thoroughly convinced that if Titanic had not come out in 1997, Good Will Hunting would have won Best Picture.
Good Will Hunting is the story of Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, who is super-smart, but ultimately not emotionally altogether. Then the movie we see is the story of his life for a while. I’m gonna talk about the acting right-out-the-gate here because the acting in this movie is all top-notch. Matt Damon gives his best performance to date as the emotionally-damaged lead. I really don’t want to say much else about him because if you haven’t seen the movie, you should discover it for yourself. And then Robin Williams plays Dr. Sean Maguire. This is one of those roles that, the first time you watch the movie, you’re thinking, “yeah he’s alright…” But then as you continue watching it, you realize that there is not a single other actor in Hollywood who could have played this role as well. Robin Williams is perfectly cast in this movie. He brings in his comedic flare to it, but also does drama so remarkably well. He’s emotionally heavy, yet still so relatable. And then Ben Affleck is in the movie as Will’s friend, Chuckie. This time last year, the Internet was running amuck because he was cast as Batman, and the bloggers were all like, “he can’t play Batman, he was in Gigli and Daredevil!” Sure he had some bad movies, but so does every actor. His performance and Good Will Hunting and The Town are two of the reasons my faith in him was solidified as Batman. I was still a bit skeptical to see if he could pull it off or not, but those were the two roles that made me realize there are worse people for the job. He delivers well comedically, but also emotionally when he needs too. He doesn’t often, but when he does, he does.
The plot of the movie is somewhat predictable and cliché, like in the last half hour you know exactly where the movie is going. But the actors and dialogue are so crisp and charming, you’re paying attention to them and don’t want to zone out. Plus, this was one of the movies that really made every movie after it cliché. So it was one of the originals to do this type of premise.
The movie has really good themes too. They’re really easy to find, but they’re meant to be. Friendship, family, love. They’re all in there, but they really are presented so well and in such a subtle way throughout. And yes, there is a romance in the movie, but I like that the romance feels secondary to the main character’s psychological issues.
Good Will Hunting is the definition of charming, it has some of the best performances of the late 90’s, great themes and an overall feel-goof movie walking out. Good Will Hunting is definitely…