Throwback Review – ‘Good Will Hunting’

I don’t care if Helen of Troy walks in the room, that’s game 6!


 

Good Will Hunting literally changed my life. The year was 2007, and I was sitting in my dorm room deciding what movie to watch, I didn’t really come to realize my love of movies until later in my life. I stumbled upon Good Will Hunting, but honestly I didn’t know much about it, I knew what it was from the infamous Oscar speech by Ben and Matt, and knew it had one of if not the best Robin Williams performance ever. So as I sat on my bed, and stared at my laptop screen for 126 minutes, I thought to myself how did I go the last 10 years of my life without watching this movie? I just remember sitting their starring down, watching Matt Damon’s; Will Hunting drives off into the distance, as he “had to see about a girl.” I sat there kind of stunned, I really hadn’t ever had that feeling after watching a movie before, I went on to watch Good Will Hunting countless times that semester and I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve watched it since, so many times in fact that I’ve almost perfected my Boston accent.

Will Hunting (Matt Damon), bad boy turned math prodigy, goes around M.I.T solving advanced math equations that only a hand few of people can solve, with pure ease. It’s more than just that though, this has a really special, raw, and unique love story, about learning that it’s okay to let people into your life, and that not all people are the same. Will’s love interest Skylar (Minnie Driver) was excellent as the down to earth brainiac, who just wanted to be loved as much as she wanted to give it. She also has one of the best pick up lines ever dropped on her in this, “well why don’t we just sit around and eat a bunch of caramels.” So many incredible lines and scenes that it’s hard for me to pinpoint my favorite one. This whole movie is just so beautifully written, and smart and has some serious real life issues going on in it. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone seeing how it won an Oscar for the writing, an underrated and unappreciated trait of great movies.

All around phenomenal performances across the board here, from the Affleck brothers, Cole Hauser, Stellan Skarsgard and clearly Robin Williams but we will touch on him later. Let’s start with the four misfits, Ben as everyone knows helped write the movie alongside Matt, and he’s come a long way since being in this movie. He’s had one of the more up and down careers in Hollywood from a bright beginning to a troubling middle act, to what he has become now. One of the best working directors today and he’s the Batman. When you think back to Ben in this, I think one scene comes to mind, when he tells his best friend Will that he’s simply to good for the life he’s living and if I’m not mistaken he says it in a more harsh way, “you’re sitting on a winning lottery ticket, but you’re too much of a pussy to cash it in.” This was a powerful ass scene, because it was Chucky who had to tell Will to get his act together and pursue a better life for himself, and that he wishes that Will would just leave one day, and not even say goodbye. The movie does a great job calling back to that scene at the end of the movie when that exact thing happens, when like every morning, Chucky heads to Will’s front door, to find it empty and he doesn’t breakdown or look sad, but rather has a smile on his face and it’s just a really touching moment. Morgan (Casey Affleck) provides the comedic relief in the film, and most of his stuff was actually improvised and that just makes it even more glorious. From him backing out of fighting because “they got snacks now,” too using Chuckie’s baseball glove for clean up. I wish the Affleck brothers would be in more movies together, especially now a days, let’s get Casey in the DCEU. Cole Hauser, who plays the classic blue-collar Bostonian with a little bit of a drinking problem to a tee. Rounding out the misfits is Damon, who shines in the lead role and is involved in the most powerful scenes in the movie. Still my all time favorite Matt Damon performance. Skarsgard as the brilliant mathematician is just an underrated actor and is always fantastic in whatever role he is playing. Just remember a difficult theory can be like the symphony, very erotic, I guess so?

Now for the main event, Mr. Robin Williams himself! First off, I’m just going to leave his clip here and watch it and remember how brilliant this man was in Good Will Hunting. The therapy session scenes are some of my favorite in all of film; Damon and Williams’s feed off one another so well, and have amazing chemistry. Who knew such powerful acting and such pure raw emotion could come from two men sitting in a room together, it’s just incredible. This was an Oscar winning performance by Robin and rightfully so, they wrote the part for the man himself. His role almost felt real, like Robin had once lived this exact life and he was just reimagining everything from his past, that’s how authentic his role felt to me. He’s had so many memorable roles in his life, but for me this will always be the one I remember most. He might be remembered for he’s comedic genius but he knew how to do drama with the best of them, and the world just simply lost this man way too soon.

Music also plays a big part, Elliot Smith does the soundtrack and it’s simply outstanding. Some haunting music is in this movie and the tone of his work blends perfectly with the sad and ominous scenes throughout the movie. Along with the directing by Gus Van Sant, who crafted such powerful and career stealing scenes, he was able to capture the words on the page and transform them into some of the best things these incredible actors have been apart of.

When it’s all said and done it’s perfect I find zero flaws in Good Will Hunting, certainly none that I can think of. For the amount of times I’ve watched it, I can never point out any flaws or have anything to nitpick about. It always puts me in a better mood when it comes on TV or I decide to watch it on Netflix, something about it just makes any bad day turn around. Not too many movies can do that for people and this is one of them. I’ll never forget that first night I watched this, and how happy I was that I stumbled across it, and it’s just never gotten old, and never will.

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews – Good Will Hunting = 100/100

 

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Wannabe Movie Critic

Hey Guys & Girls. Ever since I can remember, I have loved movies, pop culture and everything geek and nerd related. So I have decided to start writing my thoughts on things that I love. Just a wannabe movie critic, trying to make it big Check ya later.

2 thoughts on “Throwback Review – ‘Good Will Hunting’

  1. Ah man, seriously one of my all-time favourites as well but maybe saw it around 2000 but have seen it so many times since, shared it, questioned people who don’t like it (luckily not anyone I remember) because it really is absolute perfection and inspired me, encouraged me all the same.

    You might know already but, just in case you didn’t, when Williams is telling the ‘fart’ story in their sessions it was improvised and if you look closely the picture wobbles because the cameraman was laughing so much as well. I don’t say it often, if ever, but it’s an absolute one in a million.

    (P.S. Your autocorrect may have changed van Sant to van Saint ;-p)

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