Reviewed by: Joseph Martinez
|Featuring:||Gwyneth Paltrow, Anthony Hopkins, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hope Davis|
|Producer:||John N. Hart, Jeffrey Sharp, Alison Owen|
The biggest risk in life is not taking one.
Gwyneth Paltrow proves why she is one of the best actresses of her generation in Proof. Reunited with her Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, Paltrow’s performance was the shining light of this well crafted ensemble piece.
The film does have its share of holes; unfortunately one of those holes happens to be the plot. Paltrow plays the daughter of a genius mathematician, played by Anthony Hopkins, who lost his brilliance and sanity. Her fear is that her similarities to her father may not end with mathematical genius. She is afraid that she may also be going insane. The problem is that there is not enough evidence to demonstrate why this would be the case. When a person loses a parent they have cared for, there is naturally going to emotional issues that have to be dealt with.
The film begins one week after the death of her father. Naturally, she is shaken, sad, lonely and bitter. She is understandably upset at her sister for not helping her take care of her father—and bitter at the world for remembering a man in death when they forgot him in life. She was even bitter at herself for wanting the death of her father so that she did not have to see him in his condition any longer; at the funeral she exclaims “I am glad he’s dead.”
The second plot line involves the character played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who is a student of Anthony Hopkins’ character. He is a self-proclaimed “geek” who is searching through the records of his departed mentor to hopefully discover some mathematical breakthroughs. A love for math is not needed to understand this film, but it would help make it far more interesting. Gyllenhaal is very convincing as Paltrow’s love interest. He seems to be the only character with any selfless care for her at all. When he betrays her, you understand her disappointment even more.
As a Christian, I could not recommend this film; there is a fornication scene (without nudity) and cussing. However, as a non-Christian I would not have recommended this film either, because, to put it simply, this is a very weak film. The acting is strong, but the overall plot is not woven, the film feels incohesive; it just does not flow. If, like me, you absolutely love Gwenyth Paltrow, then go and see it; if you don’t, then skip it.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Minor