Finding Forrester Review

Apr 25, 2001 | 2:18pm EDT

Williem Forrester (Connery) is a hermit living in the same Bronx apartment he grew up in. He's also a well-known author famous for publishing just one book. Now in his old age he spends his days at the typewriter and looking out his window watching life go by. Through a series of events he befriends Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) and soon starts editing the budding scribe's writing samples. Forrester immediately recognizes Jamal's talents as well as the areas he can improve. Jamal soaks up his mentor's guidance but also sets out to help his friend's fear of venturing out of his apartment and embracing life once again. One would expect to see more from a veteran actor like Connery in this film. However what he delivers is a similar character we've seen in several of his films: an authoritative figure with a underlying sarcastic sense of humor (see "Entrapment"). The real scene-stealer in this one is newcomer Brown. The young actor shines in his major film debut portraying a kid from the Bronx with talent that stretches from the point of his pen to the basketball court. Anna Paquin is well cast as the down-to-earth daughter of the school director who catches Jamal's eye. Director Gus Van Sant delivers a drama that could have spent more time in the editing room. Clocking in at a little over two hours it takes too long to reach its resolution that pretty much can be predicted halfway into film. Watching Connery transform from a reclusive bitter man into a life-embracing softie is as cliché as Hollywood films come. Van Sant's best move was introducing the American audience to Brown and the marvelous presence he brings to the big screen. This young actor is one to look out for in the years to come.

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