A Few Words About A few words about... {Proof}

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    I wasn't aware of precisely what I was getting into when I decided to give some time to John Madden's {Proof}. Afterwards, in viewing a featurette, I discovered that, for whatever reasons, there was a lag between production in the fall of 2003 and its release two years later.

    Odd in this era in which productions reach a theatre while still wet from developer.

    As a fan of Mr. Madden's Shakespeare in Love, however, it was only a matter of time until {Proof} found its way into my DVD player.

    What I discovered was a superb film about the family of a brilliant mathematician being torn apart by the fear that his psychological imbalance, as well as a bit of his brilliance may have found its way into his daughter.

    To discuss this further would be to give away the delights of this film, which has received both positive and negative reviews -- generally a sign of something interesting.

    Performances, across the board, are superb.

    The film brings to mind both A Beautiful Mind, as well as, strangely, The Magnificent Ambersons (for totally different reasons).

    Mr. Madden's drama is highly recommended for viewing and a worthy use of 99 minutes of one's time.

    This film is not froth. It is intelligent, and causes one to think through precisely what is occurring. In the end, it reveals the indomitability of the human spirit.

    RAH
     
  2. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    it's always welcome to hear someone make a case for a film that would otherwise slip under the radar.
    probably won't go out of my way to find it, but if it ever crosses my path (or next time i get a netflix account) i will give it a shot.
     
  3. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Not that odd when you consider it was a Miramax / Harvey Weinstein film. He routinely keeps films on the shelf for years. He wanted to hold it to concentrate on others for that Oscar season, but then ending up leaving Miramax, and it was rushed out before he left, with little promotion.

    It is an excellent film. I saw the play on Broadway with Jennifer Jason Leigh and absolutely loved it. The film is a very good adaptation of it.

    Haven't gotten a chance to get the DVD yet, but I plan to.
     
  4. Matt Leigh

    Matt Leigh Stunt Coordinator

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    My biggest problem with the whole film is that the movie could end at any point in the story if one of the characters just asked the one logical question or said the right thing. They all know what it is to ask and they all know what it is to say they just don't for the convenience of the plot. I found the film completely maddening to watch because of this.
     
  5. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    What do you mean?

    There really wasn't much plot to the film.
     
  6. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    [Inigo Montoya Voice]
    "I don't think that word means what he thinks it means.'
    [/Inigo Montoya Voice]
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I also have no idea what that means.
     
  8. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    I have to jump in. I am a big fan of everyone in the cast, so I bought this a few days ago.
    What a fantastic film !!! Great script and wonderful performances. This certainly slipped under the radar. Get it !!
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    To Mr. Rice... I couldn't agree more.

    To Joe Caps... Pleased you agree.

    One of the elements that makes HTF the site that it is, is the ability for anyone to recommend films which seem to be passing beneath the confines of radar.

    RAH
     
  10. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Just goes to show you that when big companies battle, great little films get caught in the middle.

    I mean, it was a Tony Award winning play, starring two Oscar winners, great reviews, yet the film was barely released. It had three release date changes, even after the ads were running for one date, it was changed to another. Disney didn't want to put advertising money up to help the Weinsteins as they were leaving, the Weinsteins didn't want to plug a film that Disney would get most of the financial credit for. And, the film plays a couple weeks before disappearing. The DVD gets released without any big publicity push.

    It is a great film. One of my top ten of last year.
     
  11. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Not to mention one of the stars and the director had joined in a previous Oscar Winning film, and it also included one of this year's Oscar nominees. Considering there are basically just four people in the movie, that's a lot of Oscar clout.

    What I don't understand is, if the Weinsteins were upset about not getting "credit" for it, why is The Weinstein Company in the opening credits? I have to say, for all they have done for Independent film, they really tend to be a couple children.
     
  12. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    That was one of the causes for the final delay last September. It was just a Miramax film (originally scheduled for the fall of 2004). Ads began showing last September with just the Miramax logo. Then, the release date was changed again (by 2 weeks). When it got a new release date, the Weinstein logo was on it, along with Miramax.
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I was able to catch a live performance of the original play at my college a year or two ago... excellent play (the college's drama students did a wonderful job acting, too). The film adaptation really looks good, so I'm hoping to check it out.
     
  14. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    which, to me, adds depth to the film.
     
  15. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    That doesn't translate AS powerfully to the film, but it worked as well as it could
     
  16. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Joe, I was talking about "A". One review I read talked like they movie had completely ruined the whole point of the play. I think the reason this particular person, like with most of the reviews I have read, didn't appear to get what the play (and movie) are really about.

    As far as "B", I can see that, since the movie lacks ability to state that line and end the act. They have to keep going.
     
  17. Matt Leigh

    Matt Leigh Stunt Coordinator

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    The Gweneth character was never ever crazy and she knew it. She only shut herself off because of the death of her father.

    All that ever had to be asked was..."Did you write the proof and can you prove that you wrote it?" or.. "What happened to dad in the last years of his life?" She always knew where the proof was and she always knew that she wrote it as shown in the flash backs. This was never a revelation to her as she used her own proof as protection from her fathers belief in his own madness.

    As well, the sister character was utterly painful to watch as she only acted and never talked. She simply did what she did not because she was a character in any capacity but because she was a mechanic to the plot to simply force the other characters in a certain direction.

    If these characters ever actually talked to each other in a way that real people would communicate things would have ended immediately.

    The story is ultimately thread bare and when characters continue to circle a single point as opposed to act on it. It is like a event in a soap opera that takes weeks to play out only to fill time.
     
  18. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    You are absolutely correct Matt. And all Luke Skywalker had to do was ask Darth Vader "Who the hell are you anyway"?


    Seriously though, you severely oversimplify things.

    How can you really think Catherine "knows" there is nothing wrong with her. Plus, it is addressed rather extensively why it is not readily possible to prove she authored the proof. Also, I have known people who act remarkably like Claire. She is a pretty realistic character.

    I understand you don't like the movie, but your argument lacks validity.
     
  19. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Matt, it isn't that easy. As stated in the film

    Hopkins could have explained it to her, so then of course she would be able to tell them what it meant.

    The one thing the film did that the play didn't was make me question if indeed she did write it at all. In the play, I was 100% with the character. In the film, I was still sort of unsure.
     
  20. Seymour Uranowitz

    Seymour Uranowitz Stunt Coordinator

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