(Sir) Sean Connery’s Last Big Role (on Blu-ray and DVD)

Artistic note: Red StarRed StarRed Starhalf red stargray star(3.5 / 5)

Synopsis

At 16, Jamal Wallace, keen on writing, lets himself be drawn into a stupid bet and breaks into William Forrester’s apartment. As he ran away in a hurry, he forgets his bag containing his manuscripts. When he ends up recovering them he realizes that his texts have been corrected and commented on. Intrigued, Jamal goes to meet Forrester …

• Original title: Finding Forrester
• Support tested: Blu-ray
• Genre: drama
• Year: 2000
• Director: Gus Van Sant
• Casting: Sean Connery, Rob Brown, F. Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin, Busta Rhymes, April Grace, Matt Damon
• Duration: 2 h 16 min 10
• Video format: 16/9
• Cine format: 2.39 / 1
• Subtitling: French
• Sound tracks: DTS-HD MA 5.1 English, French
• Bonus: extract from the cinema lesson from Gus Van Sant at the Cinémathèque française hosted by Matthieu Orléan, April 2016 (11 mn 48) – An imprint of melancholy, presentation of the film by Christophe Narbonne, journalist for Première magazine (2021, 13 min 30) – analysis of 2 sequences (4 min 34) – behind the scenes of the shooting (2001, 15 min 03) – the discovery of an actor: Rob Brown (2001, 11:59) – songs performed by the choir of the DeWitt Clinton High School (3 min 03) – trailer (2 min 03) – Discovery area
• Publisher: L’AtelierImages

Artistic commentary

Meet Forrester, directed in 2000 by Gus Van Sant, benefit of the interpretation of Sir Sean Connery in last major role (he will die in October 2020). Mike Rich’s first screenplay, the plot chronicles the improbable encounter between Jamal Wallace, a young African-American basketball player from the Bronx gifted for literary studies, and William Forrester, a prestigious writer crowned with the Pultizer who lives as a recluse in his apartment. As clearly explained in one of the bonuses, the filmmaker, after the time of the Hollywood successes of order, of the commercial consecration with the colossal success of Will hunting (1997) and the semi-failure of his color remake of Psycho (1998) returned to public success with the release of Meet Forrester. This film also marks a turning point in his career as he will move towards a more refined independent cinema, even minimalist, which now refuses Hollywood codes: Gerry (2002) and Elephant (2003). Meet Forrester still belongs to the previous vein and can be compared to the drama Will hunting who was also a portrait of gifted from a disadvantaged background. But the reports are different in Meet Forrester which allows Sean Connery to demonstrate his talent as an actor thanks to one of those tasty and picturesque roles that he loved. His character is apparently inspired by that of JD Salinger, a writer who lived as a hermit, and John Kennedy Toole, author of a single great work “The Conjuring of the Fools” for which he will receive the Pulitzer Prize post- mortem, having committed suicide because we did not want to publish it! If Wallace Forrester is a colorful character, who could only conquer his audience, that of Jamal is also intense. He is embodied with a beautiful sensitivity by Rob Brown, a stranger who came to do the figuration and that Gus Van Sant will retain for this complex role of the young gifted not sure of himself that the slightest hitch can return to his modest condition. His quarrels with his teacher Robert Crawford, played by F. Murray Abraham, a character modeled on the real Robert Crawford who taught in a private school in Boston, could cost him dearly. The charming side of the plot will be ensured by the pretty Anna Paquin escaped from X-Men while Matt Damon plays a very brief lawyer role. Meet Forrester is especially true for its casting and the beautiful photography of Harris Savides in the service of this particularly optimistic story of social emancipation through writing: the ultra classic realization of Gus Van Sant did not augur his radical change of style to come. Despite a few clichés, his work on this film is nonetheless commendable: Meet Forrester has the great merit of feasting us once again on the Scottish actor in a tasty composition of a misanthropic writer which is worth, in itself, the vision.

Blu ray Meet Forrester

Technical commentary

Picture : HD copy, good definition and sharpness in the details, discreet silver grain (filming in 35 mm with a Panavision camera), variable contrast, some sequences are dull, others vibrant, naturalistic calibration, warm colorimetry with bright or dark hues depending on the sequences, nuanced tones, clean image without noticeable imperfections

His : English 5.1 mix, clear and balanced dialogues, very good dynamics especially on action scenes (baseball game, crowd of students), ample spatialization using energetically the surround channels which benefits in particular the music, occasional LFEs; VF 5.1, very neat dubbing, clear but unnatural dialogues, ample spatialization punctually identical to the original version

Our opinion

Picture : Red StarRed StarRed Starhalf red stargray star(3.5 / 5)
Sound mixes: blue Starblue Starblue Starblue Stargray star(4/5)
Bonus: Red StarRed StarRed Starhalf red stargray star(3.5 / 5)
Packaging: blue Starblue Starblue Stargray stargray star(3/5)

IMDb : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181536/

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(Sir) Sean Connery’s Last Big Role (on Blu-ray and DVD)