Year of Release: 1997
Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser, George Plimpton, Alison Foland, John Mighton
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
The universe of the very talented Gus Van Sant found an interesting match in the screenplay of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Van Sant's work traditionally focuses on stories of young heroes who are trying to find their path in the world, and who are sometimes at odds with that world. His universe and storytelling match perfectly with the story of Will Hunting, the bruised young genius, who keeps people at bay for fear of being hurt or let down. The film could have easily been maudlin or overly dramatic, however the director keeps it grounded in reality, with enough humor and edge which allows the characters to be seen as more than just archetypes. The cast is uniformly excellent, in particular Robin Williams (who won the Academy Award), Matt Damon and Minnie Driver. The cinematography from Jean-Yves Escoffier and the score from Danny Elfman (with songs from Elliott Smith) are also fantastic. A good film always worth revisiting.