"Good Will Hunting" Review: Part II

forcing Will to break down into tears, and the audience finally sees the change in him. His demons have been brought to the surface, and that quickly leads to his decision for action. Will’s resistance begins to deflate, and it slowly turns to passion, but along the way he loses his ability to decipher where his passion belongs: to his buddies, his career, or Skylar.

The standout performance of the film is the portrayal of Sean McGuire, done excellently by regular funny-man Robin Williams. Williams’s portrayal is the most enjoyable to watch, and it is fun to see the regular comedian turn to a downright glorious dramatic actor. Berardinelli says “ [Williams’s] performance is arguably the best dramatic work in the actor’s career.” Coincidentally, Williams won Best Supporting Actor at the 1997 Academy Awards. Along with William’s portrayal, support is given by a very smart portrayal by Stellan Skarsgaard, as the snippy and too intelligent for his own good Gerald Lambeau. Minnie Driver sparkles as the Harvard-girl Skylar, whose performance is that of a seasoned professional. Ben Affleck’s performance as Will’s best friend, Chuckie, seems a bit too good for him, as one wonders if he was type-cast in a role that he created, but it is excellently acted, nonetheless. It is only the nepotistic portrayal of Chuckie and Will’s friend Morgan that seems to have been stunted, and it’s Affleck’s brother, Casey, that brings down the potential of the film by making his dim-witted character lacking in substance and a back story. In fact, he’s really just…there.

Berardinelli states in his review “there are times when the dialogue positively sparkles”. I could not agree more with this statement. My personal favorite line occurs in a scene in which Sean and Will are sitting in a park bench, and the scene truly shines, and the dialogue, or rather, monologue, speaks for itself:

SEAN: …I’d ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you…And look at you. I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart.


It is in this three-minute clip of film really encapsulates the whole relationship between Will and Sean. What Damon and Affleck have done is taken words that would take a lifetime for some to say and puts it beautifully into eloquent and elegant passages of movement. The flow of the scene seems slow at first, because there is little to no action, but the words that Sean speak are emotionally and philosophically moving. One is left in pure wonder that the words they just heard could seem so real and fantastical at the same time.

Several subtle cinematographic themes occur throughout the movie. One in particular is the use of light and windows and how they relate to the action. I have noticed that when Will is in well-lighted areas, or are in fishbowl type places (like Sean’s office or the courtroom), he seems to shut down and becomes increasingly cocky and bull-headed. However, when he is in dimmer, overcast, or only slightly lighted places, it is in those moments that he truly shines. The idea behind this is that when he finds himself in a vulnerable position, he goes on the defense and closes off to what he wants, but whilst in dim lit surroundings, he feels that he can be himself, and that there is less judgment and ridicule. When he first meets Skylar, for example, he is in a very dark-lit bar. When he beats up Carmine Lapaglia, the sun is shining down on him. When he comes to the realization later in the film that his abuse was not his fault, Sean’s office is very dim lit and it is nigh

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