Winning an Oscar for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s screenplay, Good Will Hunting is about Will Hunting (Damon), a wrong-side-of-the-tracks janitor at top college MIT, who has an exceptional mind and whose mathematical genius is discovered by one of the professors (Stellan Skarsgård) at the school.
Will hangs out with his best bud, Chuckie (Affleck), chases English-born Harvard chick, Skylar (Minnie Driver) and vents his rage in bar fights.
Faced with a jail sentence, his fate lies in the hands of therapist Sean McGuire (Robin Williams) who is brought in to help him realise his true potential (and who has his own demons to conquer).
It sounds sappy but it isn’t. Skillfully directed and stunningly performed by Damon, Williams, Skarsgård, Affleck and Driver, this is mesmerising from start to finish.
Damon and Affleck wrote the script in 1993. They know how guys talk and, as actors, they keep their rhythms funny and fleet. Forget the lawyer in The Rainmaker, this is Damon’s star-making performance.
Scott William Winters
Gus Van Sant