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Slow but Intriguing

  • Apr 7, 2009
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This is a fairly tough movie to give an opinion on without spoiling the end of the movie.  Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of a famous mathematician (Anthony Hopkins) who had some incredible breakthroughs in the field.  At some point Hopkins had gone mad and Paltrow decided to devote all her time to taking care of him rather than place him in a mental facility.  When the movie begins, Hopkins has recently died. 


Jake Ghyndenhal (I think that is how you spell it) is a university student that was being tutored by Paltrow at her house.  He wants to examine over 200 notebooks that Hopkins had left behind in the house to determine if Hopkins had made any other breakthroughs that nobody knew of.  Paltrow tells him that all the notebooks were gibberish scribblings made during Hopkins insanity however, Jake insists that he needs to look at them.   This makes Paltrow suspect Jake of wanting to steal and publish some of her father's ideas as his own and she even accuses him of trying to steal some of her father's notebooks.  Jake does have one in fact, hidden in his jacket but he claims that he kept it only to give it to Paltrow as a gift because there was a note to Paltrow written by Hopkins in one of his lucid times.


In the meantime, Paltrow's sister comes from out of town to help settle Hopkin's estate much to Paltrow's chagrin since her sister wants to sell the house and force Paltrow to move to New York with her.  Paltrow always hated her sister's superior attitude and this angers her to no end.


The movie is fraught with flashbacks throughout especially to the one year period where Hopkins had become lucid.   During that time Hopkins had wanted to work and tackle mathematics again with Paltrow as his assistant.  He sits outside in a snowstorm writing.  When Paltrow explains all this to Jake and her sister, the audience is not sure whether what she tells them specifically about this episode (to say what would be a spoiler) is the truth or totally made up by Paltrow.


The end of the movie presents the audience with a paradox and the audience is not sure whether the claims of Paltrow are the truth or not (we are never sure if the same madness that had overtaken her father had overtaken her too).


This movie is pretty slow but intriguing.  It is the type of movie that could open a lot of discussion afterwards and I am sure that this could be a good film-English project for a University course.  I give it just under four stars.

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April 09, 2009
This sounds like an intriguing movie, though the ending sounds kind of anti-climatic.

It's "Gyllenhaal", pronounced "jill-en-hall", by the way! :)
April 10, 2009
You should see it if you can. Thanks for the clarification on the spelling. That is a tough name.
April 10, 2009
I will. And I know! Even though I can pronounce his last name, I still have to google it for the correct spelling.
More Proof reviews
Quick Tip by . June 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
An intelligent, thought provoking film that tackles the tricky territory of the boundaries between genius and madness
review by . January 02, 2009
A mathematical genius (Anthony Hopkins) has died after suffering from schizophrenia for years. He was cared for by his daughter, Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow), who now fears that she may have inherited his insanity. A young graduate student (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is studying the great man's notebooks, discovers a ground-breaking mathematical "proof," but Catherine claims her father didn't write it; she did.     With these great stars, I expected so much more, but I was very disappointed. …
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Ranked #9
I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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