To say that this film is worth its ticket price would be undermining it. "Finding Forrester" is a film that succeeds superbly in portraying the delicate friendship between an established author and a young black teen struggling to become one. Sean Connery plays the character of a post-war author (William Forrester) who shot to fame and the Pulitzer after writing a classic, and newcomer Rob Brown, as Jamal Wallace, manages to put up his own against him. The chemistry between the now-reclusive author and his young protégé is portrayed brilliantly by director Gus Van Sant.
The plot revolves around Forrester, an author who wrote once and never again, disappearing from society, and Wallace, a brash 16-year old from the Bronx who writes with a gift, and plays basketball. Wallace wants to reach above his regular routine and do what he really loves - write - but also wants to stay comfortable within his peers. On a dare, he breaks into Forrester’s apartment, but leaves his bag there in his haste to get out. The next day he finds his bag, with all his writing edited. From here starts the odd, but touching relationship between these two completely opposite men.
Forrester is the quintessential hard-drinking, loud-voiced, refined man while Wallace is the rap-flinging, brash youth. They both help each other discover their dreams and give each other a perspective on life that neither could have found alone. Forrester helps Wallace polish and use his skills without fear. Wallace brings Forrester back into the world.
With a harmonious soundtrack adding to the movie’s charm, and profound dialogue, one has the feeling of flowing through the movie as if on a light wind. There are intense moments of drama and emotion, but these only enhance the feel of the movie, which ultimately leaves the viewer satisfied with finally having seen something that goes down as smoothly as a whisky on the rocks, as opposed to a tequila shot.This article was first published on 09 May 2001.