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Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

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Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Old 03-19-23, 10:07 AM
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Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Good Will Hunting won two Oscars, 25 years ago this week. Completely by chance, I got caught up in watching it on Pluto TV last night, and then this morning, Matt and Ben were being interviewed on CBS about their new movie, Air.

GWH was in theaters at the same time as Titanic, so it was hard to notice GWH as a sensation, but it kind of was. I remember going to the only theater in North Austin that was showing it a few times, and it was always sold out.
Even though Damon and Affleck had both starred in wide-release movies before this, they were unknowns to the general public (Hard to believe their was a time in our lives when we did not know who Ben Affleck was) and people were very excited about feeling a sense of discovery for these two new stars.
And people were rooting for GWH at the Oscars. The 70th Oscars were, of course, dominated by Titanic, but GWH had the second most nominations with nine. It won two. Matt and Ben for their screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor for Robin Williams. Again, I remember people being very invested in wanting to see the beloved Williams win an Oscar, and with the Titanic factor, viewership was high. It's hard to believe this is true in 2023, but in 1998, 88 million total viewers watched all or part of the awards (according to Wiki).

Like I said, I just watched most of the movie last night for the first time in (at least) over 15 years. A lot of it still holds up for me; some of it doesn't.


So, I'll just throw it out there: When was the last time you watched Good Will Hunting and what do you think about it 25 years later?

Two little things I noticed:
1) The affectation of Skarsgard's professor wearing a scarf just seemed really weird. I've never socialized with anyone at the Harvard level of academia. Do balding, middle-aged math geniuses think they are rock stars?
2) In his college class, Williams' professor jokes that a therapist wants to gain a patient's trust to make it easier to have sex with them. They would never include that in a movie today, even if the character was just joking.
Old 03-19-23, 10:22 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Just showed it to my son for the first time a few months ago otherwise i would have watched it last week for st pattys. Reminds me of the Boston area more than any other film. Favorite Robin Williams performance.
Old 03-19-23, 10:25 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

I have no doubt that nerdy professors surrounded by nerdy students in prestigious schools are considered to be rock starts in some way.
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Old 03-19-23, 10:27 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

I was a kid at the time but had recently watched The Voyage of the Mimi in school not long before and so was familiar with Ben Affleckís name but only as a child actor. It was pretty funny seeing the career explosion a few months later.

As for the professor, he was established to be an extremely high level academic, so yes he was a rock star in a sense on campus. The Fields medal isnít just something Robin Williams character made up. Itís given once every four years, and only to people under 40, for contributions to mathematics.
Old 03-19-23, 10:36 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

I re-watched it a year or two ago. I still think itís a pretty fantastic movie. Some of the dialogue doesnít work as well as I remember it in the late 90s and feels a bit more stilted and scripted than I remembered. Still most of it works really well for me.

Williams is truly great in it and with him now gone, only stands out more as an all-time great performance.

I also appreciate SkarsgŚrdís performance a lot more now. Heís not a one dimensional ďvillainĒ. Heís a fully realized character. I think that was lost on me when I saw it in my late teens/early 20s.

I had high expectations for Gus Van Sant after this and heís been mostly a disappointment.
Old 03-19-23, 10:36 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

This is one of my favorite movies. The 'It's not your fault' scene gets me every time. The movie School Ties recently showed up on Peacock & I was surprised the both Damon & Affleck were in it about 4 years before GWH.
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Old 03-19-23, 12:13 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

1) The affectation of Skarsgard's professor wearing a scarf just seemed really weird. I've never socialized with anyone at the Harvard level of academia. Do balding, middle-aged math geniuses think they are rock stars?
Yes, yes they do.
Old 03-19-23, 12:14 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Itís Tomís movie. Poor poor Tom.
Old 03-19-23, 12:21 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by TGM
I have no doubt that nerdy professors surrounded by nerdy students in prestigious schools are considered to be rock starts in some way.
Originally Posted by Why So Blu?
Yes, yes they do.
Okay, but the scarf itself is still weird.

Show some dignity, dude! You won the Mrs Fields' Best Cookie in Boston award, for cryin out loud.
Old 03-19-23, 12:26 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

They were both on Sunday Morning on CBS. Good interview. Mostly about Nike movie, but very enjoyable. I could swear Affleck is on something he was like a motor mouth like Iíve never seen. Movie looks so good.
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Old 03-19-23, 01:35 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Never saw it.
Old 03-19-23, 01:54 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Never watched it but enjoyed Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the fake sequel scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
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Old 03-19-23, 03:01 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Fantastic movie. Definitely one of my favourites, and absolutely my favourite Robin Williams role.

A bit part in it always amuses me, too. It'll only mean anything to my fellow Canadians... In the early '80s, we had this weird show called The All Night Show, on a Toronto station called CFMT. It was presented as a nightly takeover of the station by a security guard (Chuck the security guard), who would chat, play old TV series, show short independent videos, and run contests. Chuck was played by Chas Lawther, who played an MIT professor in GWH.
Old 03-19-23, 03:29 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

I watched it again a few months back and I still liked them apples 25 years later.

For the most part it holds up well. A few lines of dialog felt a little too intricate and clever, which makes it feel more rehearsed and less realistic.
Old 03-19-23, 03:36 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by andicus
Fantastic movie. Definitely one of my favourites, and absolutely my favourite Robin Williams role.

A bit part in it always amuses me, too. It'll only mean anything to my fellow Canadians... In the early '80s, we had this weird show called The All Night Show, on a Toronto station called CFMT. It was presented as a nightly takeover of the station by a security guard (Chuck the security guard), who would chat, play old TV series, show short independent videos, and run contests. Chuck was played by Chas Lawther, who played an MIT professor in GWH.
I remember Chas. I thought his character in GWH was overacted.. one of the week parts of the film.
Interested piece of trivia... apparently his film debut was an uncredited role as a waiter in Antonioni's Blowup. What a way to start your career.
He's had roles in a bunch of Canadian shows over the years. I remember his lead film role in a movie called Paint Cans - a satire where he plays the head of a fictitious version of Telefilm Canada - where people are trying to butter him up to get financing for their films. Bruce Greenwood, Paul Gross and Neve Campbell were in it as well.
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Old 03-19-23, 03:44 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Re-watched a little over a decade ago. I remember Matt Damon was in an adaptation of The Rainmaker about a month before GWH was released and that one didn't do too well . I really do feel if they had released Rainmaker second it would have done better with Damon's newly found star power. GWH and Titanic were the two movies you took dates to in the Spring of 1998 semester of college.
Old 03-19-23, 03:44 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

"Alleeeeegedly!"
Old 03-19-23, 03:48 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial
Never watched it but enjoyed Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the fake sequel scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Old 03-19-23, 06:51 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD
Re-watched a little over a decade ago. I remember Matt Damon was in an adaptation of The Rainmaker about a month before GWH was released and that one didn't do too well . I really do feel if they had released Rainmaker second it would have done better with Damon's newly found star power. GWH and Titanic were the two movies you took dates to in the Spring of 1998 semester of college.
And GWH's success took a little wind out of the sails with the reveal of who Private Ryan was in the summer of 98
Old 03-19-23, 09:05 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by Coral
I remember Chas. I thought his character in GWH was overacted.. one of the week parts of the film.
Interested piece of trivia... apparently his film debut was an uncredited role as a waiter in Antonioni's Blowup. What a way to start your career.
He's had roles in a bunch of Canadian shows over the years. I remember his lead film role in a movie called Paint Cans - a satire where he plays the head of a fictitious version of Telefilm Canada - where people are trying to butter him up to get financing for their films. Bruce Greenwood, Paul Gross and Neve Campbell were in it as well.
Apart from the All Night Show, I really enjoyed him as host of the Showcase Revue. I won a Showcase ball cap through one of their on-air trivia questions (actually, two, as my wife was jealous and made me win one for her, too). Came with signed letter from Chas, which I still have.

I had forgotten about Paint Cans, until your post. Looking at the cast, I'm just surprised it didn't fit Don McKellar in, somehow.
Old 03-19-23, 11:13 PM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
I had high expectations for Gus Van Sant after this and heís been mostly a disappointment.
This was the brass ring for Van Sant. His previous work was great and he went back to that in essence post GWH. He was never meant to be a mainstream director. I think Gerry is a minor masterpiece, but I bet I'm in the minority ..
Old 03-20-23, 02:42 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by L. Ron zyzzle
This was the brass ring for Van Sant. His previous work was great and he went back to that in essence post GWH. He was never meant to be a mainstream director. I think Gerry is a minor masterpiece, but I bet I'm in the minority ..
Finding Forrester and Milk are good entries into mainstream cinema, but Forrester was basically a lesser clone of Good Will Hunting. He just didn't direct that much movies after it, mainstream or independent.
Old 03-20-23, 10:41 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

I always found this movie to be fine, perfectly serviceable but ultimately overrated. It has been a long time since I saw it, though. It might be interesting to see if I react any differently toward it.

Originally Posted by Runaway
Finding Forrester and Milk are good entries into mainstream cinema, but Forrester was basically a lesser clone of Good Will Hunting. He just didn't direct that much movies after it, mainstream or independent.
I count 12 full-length films from him after GWH. Granted, his output has slowed in recent years, but I wouldn't say "he just didn't direct that much movies after it." He has stayed fairly active.
Old 03-20-23, 10:51 AM
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Re: Good Will Hunting -- 25 years later

Originally Posted by L. Ron zyzzle
This was the brass ring for Van Sant. His previous work was great and he went back to that in essence post GWH. He was never meant to be a mainstream director. I think Gerry is a minor masterpiece, but I bet I'm in the minority ..
Milk was good but I havenít found anything else from him in the last 25 years to be anything worthwhile. I never expected him to eventually direct blockbusters but I was hoping heíd consistently direct solid bigger budget Indies like GWH.

Based on his filmography since GWH, the only two that could qualify are Promised Land and Sea of Trees. Both werenít very good and Sea of Trees bordered on terrible.

I guess I was just expecting more from him than music videos and experimental independent films.

For what itís worth, I thought Gerry was a waste of time. It felt like he went on a weekend camping trip with a couple pals and decided to make a movie while out there.

Elephant was topical when it came out but played like a student film a wannabe director would make in college.

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