Jamal Wallace played by newcomer Robert Brown is an excellent basketball player who is recruited by a top school in Manhattan for his skills in basketball. But he is also a literary prodigy who is somewhat unrecognized. He then meets William Forrester played brilliantly by Sean Connery who is an excellent yet reclusive author who teaches Jamal the art of writing and creating a good novel. The acting in this is excellent, especially by the two main actors who play off each other very well and have an excellent chemistry together.
Matt Damon has a great and unexpected cameo as Forrester’s lawyer which took me by surprise. The plot is able to squeeze in some great film moments while telling a great story. The entire movie to me is a work of art, an underrated work of art. True, this movie may be excellent, it didn’t play upon some of the more interesting storylines and subplots, yet dropped flat upon them. For example, I would have like to see the relationship between the Robert Brown and Anna Paquin’s character improve upon more than flirting.
Nothing ever really happens between the two which is a downer, because in the entire movie their relationship blossoms in a bombardment of flirtatious moments and heart-to-heart talks. In one instance Forrester advices young Wallace how to win her heart, and we never get anywhere from there. It’s too bad. We also never get any truly emotional moments from this movie. It’s just plain heartless at times. I wanted more emotion, more heart-wrenching moments. What a shame. A great story told by a great filmmaker and a great cast that doesn’t fully live up to all the expectations but is still enjoyable.