Proof

Proof

4.6 6
Director: John Madden

Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hope Davis

     
 

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A woman struggles to come to terms with the potentially dangerous legacy of her late father in this drama based on the award-winning stage play by David Auburn. Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a woman in her late twenties who is strongly devoted to her father, Robert (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant and well-known mathematician. While Robert's skill in the world of… See more details below

Overview

A woman struggles to come to terms with the potentially dangerous legacy of her late father in this drama based on the award-winning stage play by David Auburn. Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) is a woman in her late twenties who is strongly devoted to her father, Robert (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant and well-known mathematician. While Robert's skill in the world of numbers still appears to be strong, his grip on reality begins to slip away, and as Robert descends into madness, Catherine begins to wonder if she may have inherited her father's mental illness along with his mathematical genius. After Robert's passing, Catherine is confronted by Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), a gifted but zealous student of Robert's who wants to look through the late man's notes in hopes of finding his last great work. While Catherine is hesitant to look too deeply into her father's work for fear of what it might suggest about her own future, she allows Hal to do so, and when one notebook reveals a mathematical proof of potentially historic proportions, it sets off shock waves in more ways than one. Proof also stars Hope Davis as Catherine's well-meaning but shallow sister, who doubts Catherine's ability to take care of herself. Paltrow had previously played Catherine to stellar reviews during the original play's run in London's West End.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Shakespeare in Love director John Madden reunited with that film’s Oscar-winning leading lady, Gwyneth Paltrow, for this absorbing adaptation of David Auburn’s Tony Award-winning drama. Paltrow portrays Catherine, the brilliant but troubled daughter of college professor Robert (Anthony Hopkins), a legendarily gifted mathematician, whose advancing mental illness makes him increasingly difficult to look after. Catherine’s estranged sister, Claire (Hope Davis), arrives to put the old man’s affairs in order just as one of his former students, Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), begins poring through Robert’s papers for proof of a theory that will revolutionize mathematics. The crux of the story is Catherine’s inability to distinguish herself in the outside world after spending so many years in her father’s shadow, and her grappling with the fear that she will inevitably succumb to the dementia that has robbed Robert of his greatness. Paltrow handles a difficult characterization with great skill and sensitivity; she effectively conveys the fear of someone walking the tightrope between sanity and insanity. Gyllenhaal is similarly good as the grad student whose motives remain questionable throughout much of the film: Is he trying to cement his mentor’s place in history, or is he an opportunist intending to appropriate Robert’s work for himself? Hopkins, of course, is superb as the declining mathematician, whose glimmers of lucidity are less frequent and less lasting with each passing day. Perhaps better than any writer in recent memory, Auburn (who scripted this adaptation of his play) portrays the dichotomy of the intellectual life, a life lived not only in “the real world” but also in the recesses of the mind. It’s not an easy theme to digest, but as laid out in Proof, it’s one well worth exploring.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
John Madden's adaptation of David Auburn's award-wining Proof retains much of the work's outstanding dialogue. There is a lack of emotional immediacy to the film, but that has more to do with the characters being from a highly academic world. These are people who are always attempting to be exact and clear, and much of the drama of Gwyneth Paltrow's character -- a part she played on stage in London -- comes simply from the fact that she does not want to face in clear and exact terms what she is feeling. The trick to the presenting this material is maintaining the balance between the characters. The audience has to constantly wonder which of these characters they can believe. Madden does a fine job of keeping this element of the play in tact, even if Jake Gyllenhaal's Hal tips the scale by being played a bit too nice. Madden also does not "open up" the play so much as go deeper into it. He does a fine job editing the film in order to reveal information in ways one is unable to on the stage. This is a fine film with solid performances.

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Product Details

Release Date:
05/03/2011
UPC:
0096009772697
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Miramax Echo Bridge
Time:
1:41:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gwyneth Paltrow Catherine
Jake Gyllenhaal Hal
Hope Davis Claire
Anthony Hopkins Robert
Roshan Seth Prof. Bhandari
Gary Houston Prof. Jay Barrow

Technical Credits
John Madden Director
David Auburn Screenwriter
Mick Audsley Editor
Kerry Barden Casting
Mark Cooper Co-producer
Julie Goldstein Executive Producer
Michelle Guish Casting
John Hart Producer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Robert Kessel Producer
Alwin Küchler Cinematographer
Peter Lindsay Sound/Sound Designer
Rebecca Miller Screenwriter
Alice Normington Production Designer
Alison Owen Producer
Deborah Saban Asst. Director
Jeff Sharp Producer
Keith Slote Art Director
Suzanne Smith Casting
James D. Stern Executive Producer
Jill Taylor Costumes/Costume Designer
Stephen Warbeck Score Composer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Proof
1. Happy Birthday [7:18]
2. Hal [9:02]
3. Claire Arrives [8:45]
4. Funeral [4:09]
5. After Party [5:50]
6. Out of Practice [4:06]
7. Selling the House [9:52]
8. Last Chance [3:12]
9. The Machinery [8:34]
10. Handwriting [5:47]
11. Lost Days [4:58]
12. Spark of Genius [10:40]
13. Siblings [1:37]
14. Infinite Cold [5:41]
15. Make It Better [10:39]

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