To the uninformed, Jamal Wallace (Rob Brown) looks like just another Black kid from the Bronx who shoots hoops. But, beneath the obvious exterior a literary genius is brimming. While he may be a genius, he's still a 16-year old kid and that kind of youth gives way to pranks. On a particular evening, his buddies convince him to sneak into the apartment of a resident they call "the window" (so named because he seems to always watch them run ball from his window while never actually being seen outside himself.). He accepts the challenge and scales the fire escape outside of "the window's" apartment. Once in, his real life adventure begins. The "window" is actually reclusive author, William Forester (Sean Connery) who is none too pleased with his unexpected night visitor. After the awkward introductions, an affair of the mind and heart takes flight, which finds them, embarking upon a father/brother/son relationship that teaches them both a little something about life. Like I said, Jamal is a genius and when his test scores get the attention of the top private-prep school on the Eastern seaboard, a change in his schooling is on it's way. While they are interested in his mind, it doesn't hurt that their basketball team sucks and is in need of the kind of expertise that Jamal can offer. And that's where it all gets hairy. Prejudice rears its ugly head and Jamal's exceptional academic prowess is placed under scrutiny by those who count him only as a basketball player incapable of doing anything even remotely close to the level of excellence he manifests. The only way he'll win this war is too look within himself for those qualities he's always had as well as relying on the experience and knowledge of Forrester. Mind you, Forrester has a great many issues and demons that plague him as well. In order to help Jamal, he'll need to help himself by drawing from all the energy of this newfound relationship. Finding Forrester is a gem of a film and a modern classic.
The audio for the feature is presented in a DD5.1 that does an excellent job with the film's score as well as its dialogue. This is a dialogue driven film and in the way of activity, this platform is far from aggressive. It does however envelope the listening area in all the aural textures the film has to offer. On a scale of 1-10 for what it offers I'd have to rank it at least an 8-8.5.
The video is equally impressive. The anamorphically enhanced widescreen presentation is free from any and all chroma noise. If there was any, I certainly couldn't find it. The colors were all well saturated and the blacks were all deep and true. Excellent transfer!
In the way of extras, this film has a decent amount. Certainly not a watershed but enough to thoroughly explain the in's and out's of the film's intricacies.
A 15-minute HBO Making of Finding Forresterfeaturing behind the scenes interviews with the cast and Director Gus Van Sant is included.
Found; Rob Brown is probably my favorite segment in which, Rob discusses how he went to the casting call on a fluke just to get enough cash to pay for his phone bill and ends up reading for and starring with Sean Connery in one of the best dramatic films of 2000.
Deleted Choir Scenes
There are two scenes involving two high school choirs performing two classical pieces. One of which is the often used, Carmina Burana. Not to clown on the kids but, man were their renditions horrible! If ever there were scenes that needed to be cut, these were the ones that needed to hit the cutting room floor.
Trailers are included for Finding Forrester as well as First Knight and two other Columbia Tri Star titles.
Dramatic pieces are a favorite genre of mine. Primarily for the emotional response they create. A good drama filled with the best casting and direction can be an incredibly involving theatrical experience. Finding Forrester is one such film. From Connery to Brown to Abraham, this is a first rate experience that weaves a wonderful story and brings out the best in all those involved in bringing this film to life. Easily one of the best films of 2000 or any year for that matter.