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Review Finding Forrester (2000): Sincere and beautiful coming of age drama!

genre: drama

As you might know Sean Connery retired from the movie business quite a while ago. The last real movie he had done is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003). While TLG might not have been the proper send off any one could wish for chances are people will remember him fondly as the character William Forrester in the movie he made before LXG. And if you haven't watched that yet you owe it to yourself and great cinema to do so.

Finding Forrester is a great piece of cinema. It's about an unlikely friendship between a famous accomplished Scottish author and Jamal Wallace a 16 year old black kid from The Bronx. This friendship starts out as a teacher student relationship but over the course of the film this relationship evolves into something more and substantial. Both Jamal and William have the need for this and it can be seen in the many interactions they have. I liked how this film avoided the usual trappings of melodrama. With the consequence that the brief dramatic moments become more powerful and endearing. 

Now Finding Forrester could be considered a little slow although honestly (even after several viewings) it never is boring. The pacing is immaculate as it knows that it is important to show a realistic progress of events. Especially once Jamal is doing real well and gets confronted by some jealousy and bigotry coming from teacher Crawford played by F. Murray Abraham. Forrester informs Jamal that Crawford also tried to publish a book a few years after Forrester but got rejected and took a job teaching others how to write instead of writing another book. "Bitterly disappointed teachers can be either very effective or very dangerous". This describes Crawford perfectly. He is one of those teachers that ridicules or intimidates instead of motivating and inspiring his students. As opposed to Forrester who is delighted to come across a brilliant and remarkable young man. Abraham is playing his role so well that you instantly dislike him. Is his role exaggerated and a little too villainous? I don't think so. Sadly Crawford does represent a group of people who are so jealous of other people's talents and successes that they will do anything in their power to make those people's life difficult.   

Finding Forrester is a sincere and beautiful coming of age drama where both Sean Connery and Rob Brown shine and help you immerse in their journeys. This is done so superbly that you feel good at the end. For me this is a film that always remain good and is one that you can enjoy over and over again. A real classic!

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