Sunday, 15 August 2010

Best Supporting Actor 1997: Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting

Robin Williams won an Oscar from his fourth nomination for portraying Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting.

Robin Williams plays the psychotherapist who helps Good Will Hunting (Matt Damon) deal with his past, and attempt to help him forge his future. Maguire is a movie psychiatrist in all regards, revealing a bit too much to his patient and also getting a little unrealistically close to him too. Now first of all the technical aspects of this performance are poor. No one can do a natural Boston accent well in this and Williams is no exception. His accent is especially strange, where Ben Affleck and Damon kept a poor accents consistent, Williams randomly includes the accent which is both odd and distracting. Another problem I have with his performance is one brief scene where he breaks character. Williams always seems to have trouble not reverting to his comedian self such as his imitation scene in Dead Poets Society, and here where he talks about Maguire's deceased wife's farting problem. He really makes an awkward transition in the scene from the character than telling to joke getting to much like himself, then quickly reverting back. It was an unneeded part of his performance which only takes away from his realistic approach in the rest of his performance.

Now his performance is meant to be that of a real working Bostonian who only happens to be a psychotherapist. Now I never believe that in the least that Maguire has his past because Williams never makes it believable that he does. He never really shows  this well enough, and his attempts to seem real working class are laughable at best. His scenes with Damon range from okay to over the top. Okay are say his speech about how Will Hunting doesn't really have real experience, but over the top are like his first encounter where Maguire says he will end Will for making fun of his wife. Williams goes way over the top there and never is believable. He is okay at times but the big emotional scenes always seem to fall a little short, as if they were trying too hard to make them emotional intead making theses scene a little artificial. Otherwise than that he has some okay scenes with Stellan Skarsgard, but again only okay. He is always a little off because the character at his core is not believable due to Williams. At best he is okay and at worst he is awkward and poor. Overall he is more bad than okay making his win rather undeserved.

6 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

I agree...thought his performance was largely mediocre.

Tom said...

Do you think this is truly a supporting performance, or Lead?

Louis Morgan said...

I think it is definitely supporting, but it is a supporting performance with a good amount screen time.

joe burns said...

I would give him a little more , probably a three or a four. He was okay, but nothing great, just like the film.

Michael Patison said...

I totally disagree. I love the film and loved Robin and thought that he was the best part.

Anonymous said...

Any individual who finds it pertinent to base this movie on a Hollywood comparrison is far more ignorant than they give themselves credit for. The fact of the matter is, this movie was an outstanding and realistic approach to dealing with the troubled youth out there who quite frankly get tired of being placed in front of individuals who try to help them but have no clue as to what it's like to be brought up in such horrific lives. Robin Williams takes this opportunity to approach such a hush hush subject and open the eyes to the public. Being such a "Will Hunting" in the past with exception of the "genious" part, I found a desire to do a research paper on the positive affects that come out of working with youth from a previous experience approach, rather than a $50,000 over paid college book learning experience.