Finding Forrester Blu-ray Review
Movies reviewSRP: £10.99
This compelling companion-piece to Good Will Hunting delivers veteran actor Sir Sean Connery's last great performance.Gus Van Saint's 2000 film Finding Forrester explores the friendship that grows between a young aspiring teen writer - given the opportunity to leave his impoverished neighbourhood for a prestigious college scholarship - and an ageing reclusive author who all-but disappeared after the publication of a Pulizer Prize-winning novel back in his youth. It's a thinly-veiled, fictitious, look at the reclusive author J.D. Salinger - who wrote one of the greatest books of all time, The Catcher in the Rye, before becoming a recluse for the remainder of his life, barely publishing any new work.Gus Van Saint elicits what proved to be Sean Connery's last great performance (before his retirement a couple of years later) from Forrester's Salinger-like grumpy old writer, and magics up a tremendous debut from young nobody Rob Brown as the teen who finds the recluse. Made in a day when tempered, considered plotting wasn't regarded as slow, the very natural build-up of the relationship between these two crescendos nicely into a series of impressive revelations and forms of closure. It's a simple, but well-told and superbly-acted piece.
Picture QualityFinding Forrester finds itself on UK shores courtesy of Eureka who deliver it on a Region B locked Blu-ray complete with a 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition video presentation framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen.
A finely shot piece of more classically stylised filmwork courtesy of cinematographer Harris Savides, Finding Forrester looks impressively rich and textured, with plenty of fine detail both on close ups - which take in the subtleties of everything from Connery's iconic twilight era multi-tonal beard to the weaves of the clothes worn - and the longer shots of bustling academia and urban environments, with particular note towards the brickwork on Forrester's building and smaller observations like the wire mesh fence enclosing the basketball court.
This finely shot piece looks impressively rich and textured
The colour scheme is warm and natural, affording healthy skin tones and a keen representation towards the environment, with few splashes of vivid primary tones, but nevertheless a rich and vibrant palette. As is commensurate to the material black levels are strong and deep, never more so evident than in the break-in scene which affords a tremendous amount of shadow detail likely newly revealed by the quality of this release. It may be an older, more classic-style production, but that doesn't prevent Finding Forrester from shining on Blu-ray.
Sound QualityThe audio is promoted in two distinct flavours, with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track presiding over a more standard LPCM 2.0 mix. A restrained, natural affair, there's little bombast here, but it's still a faithful, strong track.
There's little bombast here but it's still a faithful, strong track
Dialogue remains the core component, promoted with clear and coherent distinction, filling the front and centre channels for the majority of the proceedings, with little to compete with. The score is dominated by song tracks, and otherwise often absent, allowing the mood of the piece to be developed through words and visuals, slowly evolving both across the duration. There are a few more bustling moments, where effects are tracked nicely across the surrounds, with busy basketball courts and crowded college halls crafting a more atmospheric movement over the array.
ExtrasAlthough Eureka haven't gone above and beyond here, an Isolated Score, a couple of reasonably substantial Featurettes - a quarter-hour HBO Making-Of and a 12-minute Found: Rob Brown Featurette - which do offer a little background into both the production and the cast, 8 minutes of Deleted Scenes and a Trailer all still make for a healthy package that's far from bare bones.
Blu-ray VerdictIt's a simple, but well-told and superbly-acted piece
Finding Forrester finds itself on UK shores courtesy of Eureka who deliver a strong Region B-locked package, with faithful video and audio, a few nice extras and a film - with arguably the last impressive performance from Connery - which is certainly worth checking out.
You can buy Finding Forrester on Blu-ray here
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £10.99
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