2 November 2013 | bkoganbing
Where do the James Baldwins spring from?
Director Gus Van Sant took the best parts of his own Good Will Hunting and Scent Of A Woman and fashioned Finding Forrester. The title is a something of a misnomer in that Forrester and someone else kind of find each other.
The title role of finding Forrester is played by Sean Connery who is a J.D. Salinger type author who has lived as a recluse in a brownstone. He wrote one novel back in the day and never wrote another. Presumably he said all there was to say in his mind.
A young ghetto kid with a talent for basketball and a bigger talent for writing meet in a rather peculiar fashion that I won't go into. They form a nice relationship, supplying needs for each other. Rob Brown who was a newcomer played the kid who has gotten a basketball scholarship, from a posh prep school, but has dazzled many with his abilities as a writer.
Finding Forrester has an interesting commentary on our stereotypes. Brown is in the school to bring home a basketball champion. Black ghetto kids are supposed to have talent in that direction. But creative writing? Just where do they think the James Baldwins spring from? That's no matter to frustrated professor F. Murray Abraham who teaches because he failed as a novelist. As Connery puts it people can get the mechanics of writing down, but talent can't be learned.
Anyway Brown gets put through a ringer like Chris O'Donnell did in Scent Of A Woman. Can you imagine the late J.D. Salinger coming out of his hideaway in New England on such a mission as Connery undertakes. Much bigger than what Al Pacino did in Scent Of A Woman.
Connery and Brown do form a nice bond and they have good chemistry for the viewer. And that's really about 80% of Finding Forrester.
You'll find Finding Forrester worth the effort.