Good Will Hunting – review

The romantic subplot straddling the middle act is weak, and a couple of mawkish, if necessary, closing scenes had me screaming at the screen for it get out while it was still ahead. That’s because the combination of sharp dialogue and sharper delivery had already won me over. Matt Damon knows how to play a dick – his character’s uber-genius becomes a foil for the screenplay’s key debate, realised with eminent facility by Stellan Skarsgard and Robin Williams. Their performances are nuanced enough that, even if the stools they represent aren’t exactly subtle, the arguments they provoke are. How we judge failure, how we judge success, what right to do we have to self-determination. Momentous questions that wouldn’t mean jack without a heavyweight’s punch. All scenes between Damon and Williams, and Skarsgard and Williams, are gold. What’s the common denominator?

A-