Good Will Hunting -
After a run-in with the law, a brilliant but misguided young janitor meets with a therapist to find direction in his life. Usually, I like to discuss many of the filmmaking aspects when reviewing a film, but while GWH is well shot and edited and director Gus Van Sant knows how to keep things moving along, it’s the performances and the script that make this so special to me. The screenplay by Affleck and Damon has the ring of truth in it having us believe in their characters every step of the way, and the dialogue feels authentic and just like what you might hear in real life. There’s never a moment where I feel like the dialogue comes across as written and is instead presented in a wholly natural way that sounds right every step of the way. Across the board, every member of the cast are giving wonderful performances creating characters that feel like real people like in Will and Chuckie’s friends who aren’t given much to do compared to everyone else, but they do such a great job with what they’re given that they stay with you. Damon and Affleck are exceptional in their scenes together, Minnie Driver is terrific as Will’s love interest and who ends up testing his feelings more than he ever expected, and Williams gives one of his best performances as the therapist working with Will. Every one of their scenes together contains so much heart, humor, and emotion such as in their first encounter or when Williams remembers the first time he saw his wife, and it all culminates in a scene that manages to make me cry every time with only four words: “It’s not your fault.” The basic story arc may be a tad predictable in spots, but the dialogue and characters are completely original creating a film that I revisit time and time again with it almost feeling like a family reunion every time I watch it. Good Will Hunting is an excellent drama that hits all of the right notes with one great scene after another leading to its satisfying conclusion, and I’m going to give it an A.