Review: Good Will Hunting (1997)

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Good Will Hunting (1997)

Directed by: Gus Van Sant | 125 minutes | drama | Actors: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, Stellan Skarsgård, Minnie Driver, Cole Hauser, John Mighton, Rachel Majorowski, Colleen McCauley

Up-and-coming actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck break through with their self-written script of ‘Good Will Hunting’. The film yields no fewer than seven Oscar nominations, but ultimately only wins two: Damon and Affleck receive recognition for writing the script and Robin Williams for best supporting actor. The message of ‘Good Will Hunting’ is not original, but it has been given a nice new look. The fact that you have to live your dreams and seize the opportunities that arise is not new. The packaging that the gentlemen have come up with does.

Now a good script alone is no guarantee for a good film. The interaction and chemistry is clearly present between the actors, who feel exactly how the scenes should be played. Thanks in part to the merits of Gus van Sant, who has a tight control over the directing and who translates the script into a catchy film, ‘Good Will Hunting’ knows how to captivate you until the end.

Where the film starts as a drama, it turns into a feel-good movie as the end approaches. A good choice, because this reinforces the message in this film. It is not entirely unjust that Robin Williams has won an Academy Award for his performance. He will surprise many with his performance. He plays on the edge every now and then, but convincingly manages to portray the frustrated psychiatrist who must get Will (Matt Damon) into line.

That Matt Damon and Ben Affleck succeed in creating their characters should come as no surprise to anyone. After all, they wrote the script themselves. The other actors play well and leave the shine to the aforementioned. ‘Good Will Hunting’ is a beautiful film that makes you think about the choices you have made in your life.

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