Starring: Sean Connery, Ron Brown, Anna Paquin
Director: Gus Van Sant
FINDING Forrester is an agreeable film about Jamal, a brilliant boy from the Bronx, who gets inside the reclusive world and under the skin of William Forrester (Sean Connery), a Scottish Pulitzer Prize winner living in the “hood”.
Jamal wins a scholarship to a posh Manhattan private school where he is taught English by the incredibly pompous Professor Crawford (F. Murray Abraham) and gets his first white girlfriend, Claire (Anna Paquin).
Jamal has two extraordinary gifts, he writes lyrical prose and he plays basketball. Forrester becomes his secret mentor in literature and his influence is so telling that Crawford accuses Jamal of plagiarism. His scholarship comes down to a basketball game and a showdown with Crawford. You get the picture.
This is a very poor relative of Peter Weir’s brilliant Dead Poets Society. Finding Forrester starts out with interesting enough material and goes downhill to overly long derivative nonsense and cliche. The showdown scenes, however, all play on the heartstrings as intended. And Connery goes back to Scotland.