To kick things off with this week’s Rewind, I have to admit that I had some difficulty in trying to decide what to do. We can choose from games, movies, TV shows or books. For two days I considered all of those mediums, and tried to think of something I keep going back to. The last time I wrote this I went with the Cornetto Trilogy, but this time, after much pondering, I have chosen the 1997 film Good Will Hunting.
Good Will Hunting, is simply put, a classic and iconic film. The movie stars Matt Damon as the title character of Will Hunting and the late great Robin Williams as Sean Maguire. The film was written by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon and was directed by Gus Van Sant.
In Good Will Hunting, Will (Damon) is a mathematical genius with a photographic memory and a back story of coming through the foster care system in a bad way. He works as a janitor at one of the most prestigious technical schools in the United States, M.I.T.
After getting caught one night solving a problem the professors took years to prove, he quits the job there and begins working in construction. One evening out with his friends Chuckie (Ben Affleck), Morgan (Casey Affleck) and Billy (Cole Hauser) they get into a fight that leads to Will getting arrested for aggravated assault. Though Will argues a good case for himself, the judge decides his track record means he deserves jail time. However, before he is sentenced, one of the M.I.T. professors who was so awe-struck by the fact Will solved the problem made an offer to the judge and to Will. Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård) gives him the chance to use his mathematical skills with him and his colleagues as well as attend psychiatric therapy sessions instead of jail time.
Will takes the deal and then proceeds to mock and humiliate many of the psychiatrists that Prof. Lambeau lines up for him to meet with. Finally, as a last resort, Prof. Lambeau turns to an estranged friend and psychiatrist, Sean Maguire (Williams). Sean and Will spend the first few sessions figuring each other out, in fact, a whole session goes by with them just sitting there and not talking. Sean tells Prof. Lambeau that Will needs to make the first move.
As the therapy sessions continue and evolve, Will meets Skylar (Minnie Driver) while defending his friend Chuckie at a Harvard Bar. The events surrounding Will meeting Skylar and using his book smarts to outwit a Harvard student (Scott William Winters), leads to one of the most amusing scenes in the film. Will sees the Harvard student sitting in a cafe after he leaves the Harvard Bar and knocks on the window. He asks the man if he likes apples when he says yes, Will then proceeds to say “Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?” This, in turn, led to another wonderful scene in a very different movie. Kevin Smith used Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Gus Van Sant and Scott William Winters in a scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
The heart of the movie revolves around the relationship between Will and Sean. Their therapy sessions are what truly define this movie as great. Sean dealing with the loss of his wife, while Will has to deal with his abandonment issues. The two play off each other so well, that it leads to a scene in the movie, that is so heart wrenching it can only be described as amazing.
After working with Will so much, Prof. Lambeau tries to set up job interviews for Will to best utilize his skills. However, Will doesn’t seem to be interested in any of the jobs that have been lined up. This leads to Sean and Prof. Lambeau arguing about what might be best for Will, when Will walks in. It is this scene in Good Will Hunting, that gets to me every single time. I am overcome with emotions and have cried during this scene on more than one occasion. Sean is trying to tell Will, that his past and all the things he went through with his foster father, were not his fault. I truly believe, that while Robin Williams‘ performance in this film is spectacular, this particular scene clinched him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
This film is an instant classic that I believe every person should at some point see. This year will mark its 20th anniversary, and I for one, could watch this movie again and again… and truth be told, I have. Good Will Hunting has everything it needs to be a true legend in the film world; from the Academy Award winning script, to the award-winning acting and all the drama and comedy involved.
I could never say enough good things about this movie, but I have come to the end of this weeks Rewind. I will leave you with this, I would rank this film in my top ten movies of all time: Where would you rank Good Will Hunting on your all time movie list? Does it crack your top ten? Have you even seen it yet?
Let us know in the comments below.