Welcome to Genius Week: Day 5. Today is the final day of the week, which means it’s the last movie I’m reviewing about a genius. Next week will be Assassins Week, so that should be exciting. Today, we’re taking a look at Proof, the second film this week that stars Gwyneth Paltrow, believe it or not. I saw this years ago, most likely when it first came out, but I just couldn’t remember what I thought about it, nor what really happened in the film. So the question was, is that because the film is forgettable or is it because I was a busy junior in high school? Let’s figure that out.
“The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father’s ex-students, who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister, who shows up to help settle his affairs.” (IMDb)
I don’t always watch pure dramas. The dramas I tend to watch are usually mixed in with other genres…but the interesting thing about that is…dramas are often the films that are the most demanding of the actors. That’s when the actors have to stop acting like themselves in a movie and really act like someone else. So, the acting ability in this film is actually pretty great. Gwyneth Paltrow actually does a great job presenting her inner turmoils, fears, and lack of self-confidence, and how the darkest times in our lives can always be conquered as long as we open ourselves up to our full potential. We can’t hide from ourselves, so why try?
As always, that’s just my first impressions from watching the film. Let’s go ahead and dig deeper to break this film down, shall we?
PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 1|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
First, we take a look at the people category, which received a pretty good score all around. The acting, of course, was really strong. You sense a lot of grief going on, and that grief mixed with the fear of the future definitely shows. Now, while the cast is fantastic, and while the characters all have their importance for their roles, I don’t really think you’ll remember the film for the characters. Like I said, it’s a good cast, but those characters are…they’re a bit forgettable…but hey, they have great chemistry with each other.
WRITING SCORE – 9/10
Dialogue – 1|Balanced – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2
The writing score also got a nearly perfect score. It’s only real fault came down to the dialogue. There wasn’t really anything memorable about the dialogue, which is both surprising and disappointing for a film starring Anthony Hopkins. There’s no question the man can act, but depending on the script, he’s often seen with really powerful and memorable speeches as well, which there really isn’t any of here, but his dynamic with Paltrow is very good. Everything else in this category is fine. It is a very smoothly balanced flick, the story is about family, but it’s also about self-doubt, fear, and mortality. It is very interesting and very original.
BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 2|Music – 1
Next up, we have behind-the-scenes, which didn’t get as much of a great score as the others here. There really wasn’t anything special about the visuals. There’s a nice-looking scene in the snow somewhere in the middle, but that’s really the best-looking shot out of the who film. The directing didn’t really seem to be that challenging of a project, but there were elements of the editing that impressed me, as a big part of the film depended on flashbacks. It is an as-advertised film, but nothing about the music really stood out. So basically, this category’s score is just okay.
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 7/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 1|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 1
Alright, so the narrative arc score also isn’t perfect, but why? Well, the introduction was just fine, it introduced us to everyone and asked us the question it asks for the rest of the movie. The inciting incident is when they find “the notebook”. The obstacles comes down to more of a personal conflict than anything, the climax isn’t really super clear…although it does answer a few questions. The falling action is also a bit dull, as you’re not really sure as to what the new norm is…but you might have a slight idea. The falter in the narrative arc really just comes down to clarity.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 4/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 2
How entertaining was it? Good question. I think it does a fantastic job at pulling you into the film from beginning to end, but I think that’s about it. I might rewatch it, but that is if it was on TV randomly and I decided to check that out. I’m not sure if I’ll go looking for it again, though, since I’m satisfied enough to have watched it again this week. It is fun to watch sometimes, others not so much. I don’t care to either own or buy this film. I don’t even really care to talk about it. It’s a pretty well-done movie on a technical side of things, but pure entertainment is dwindling.
TOTAL SPECIAL – 45/50
Genius Week – 10|Drama – 10|Mystery – 10|Anthony Hopkins – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Alright, so how about the specialty questions that I wrote before seeing the movie? How did it do for genius week? Really well, the concept of mentality and intellect were spoken about from beginning to end. It is listed under drama and mystery, so how were those two categories here? The drama was really powerful and evident, and the mystery was actually pretty unique and interesting. Anthony Hopkins also clearly played a part here, how was his role? To be honest, I’ve seen better from him. He did fine, but the writers certainly didn’t utilize Hopkins’s own genius. Was the film halfway decent? Yes, I would definitely consider it halfway decent.
TOTAL – 81/100