Finding Forrester

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Can a teenager from the Bronx ghetto lead a brilliant, eccentric recluse from total social withdrawal to guiding mentor? That life-changing relationship begins when Jamal (Robert Brown) accepts his friends' dare to sneak into the apartment of the mysterious old man (Sean Connery) they call "The Window," who watches their basketball games from above. When the bold teenager accidentally leaves his backpack and personal journal in the apartment, "The Window" returns it with handwritten notes of encouragement and criticism scrawled in the margins. Even though Jamal is a grade C student, he wins a scholarship to a prestigious prep school in Manhattan based on results of an academic test. Jamal clashes with his English professor who doubts the new student is capable of the high quality his written assignments reflect. He also faces intense pressure from the prep school board of trustees to lead the basketball team to a state championship. Intelligent and uplifting, FINDING FORRESTER is every bit as entertaining, and inspiring, as GOOD WILL HUNTING, both directed by Gus Van Sant. Expect Oscar nominations for both Connery and Brown.

Snobbish prep school students and a cruel English professor almost smother Jamal's burning ambition to become a writer. But he meets the challenge with the help of his eccentric, new friend whose reclusive life suddenly finds a purpose. But Jamal is also blessed with a strong, single mother who demands high standards from her son. At the dinner table, the family gives thanks and expresses their love and respect for each other. Jamal also shows genuine affection for the lonely old man whose only companions are his books. Their relationship becomes a win-win situation, as Jamal finds a father figure and the stranger, a son. FINDING FORRESTER has no sex scenes, but sounds heard through the thin walls of an apartment imply the act, and a few suggestive remarks are made. Unfortunately, embedded in the engrossing dialogue are 19 obscenities and 13 profanities, mostly spoken by the teenagers as they taunt each other on the basketball court. Its a shame such an uplifting story can't be told without taking the Lord's name in vain and spouting obscenities.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (20) times - Mild 10, moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (19) times - F-word 2, s-word 17

Profanity: Many (13) times - Regular 7 (GD 3, C 2, J 1, G 1); Exclamatory 6

Violence: Few times - Mild (man knocked to floor in crowded stadium, rough treatment on basketball court)

Sex: Implied twice (sounds heard through thin walls)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (boys make suggestive remarks about sex)

Drugs: Few times (elderly man drinks alcohol frequently)

Other: Themes of facing fear, reaching out to others, importance of learning

Running Time: 135 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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