Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

PG   |    |  Biography, Drama


Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) Poster

A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer.

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7.5/10
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  • Steven Zaillian in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
  • Max Pomeranc in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
  • Max Pomeranc in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
  • Ben Kingsley in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
  • Ben Kingsley and Max Pomeranc in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
  • Laurence Fishburne and Max Pomeranc in Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)

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28 February 2004 | cheerskep
Zaillian's genius in "Searching for Bobby Fischer"
In SEARCHING FOR BOBBY FISCHER, Steven Zaillian's is the most complete and near-flawless film-work of the 1990s. I can't say merely "director's work" because he also wrote the screenplay. And (I have to presume) he chose Conrad Hall as d.p., James Horner for the music, Wayne Wahrman as film-editor, and he worked with a lighting director, sound director, set director and more -- each of whom did a job worthy of the highest praise. And the cast, the supernal cast -- many of whom have had larger and more celebrated roles, but none of whom has ever nailed a role more satisfyingly -- Kingsley, Mantegna, Allen, Fishburne -- even the smaller and cameo bits are effectively faultless -- by Linney, Stephens, Shalhoub, Pendleton. And of course, Pomeranc's work is a kind of miracle. Every part of it evokes from me applause for Zaillian's imagination, sensibility, knowledgeability, intelligence, judgment.

I confess I post this comment because none of the other comments I've seen on SEARCHING seems to me to realize how much Zaillian must have contributed to making this -- and I think it deserves this adjective -- GREAT movie. (I further confess I didn't first watch the movie until some three years after its debut because of its title. I was damned if I wanted to spend two hours in the presence of someone as nasty-seeming as Fischer. But the title of course was Fred Waitzkin's, the author of the source book. Fred, you cost me a few years -- but Steven Zaillian has made up for it many times over.)

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