Saturday, October 01, 2005
Saw Proof last night at Pacific Place. What a terrific movie! Gwyneth Paltrow, at her pouty best, plays the daughter of a recently deceased math genius, played by Anthony Hopkins, who had gone mad with polygraphia, filling hundreds of notebooks with drivel before he died. Jake Gyllenhaal plays one of her father's former students, and a hottie love interest to Paltrow, who discovers what might be a stunning new Proof when he is going through the notebooks. When Paltrow claims that she is the true author of the Proof, the movie becomes a suspenseful exploration of whether she is a math genius, like her father, or mentally ill . . . er, like her father. The higher-math-as-path-to-fame-and/or-madness theme could have easily been substituted with poetry (I kept imagining Paltrow as Plath), or music, or another kind of writing/composition. Hopkins is fantastic spouting rapid-fire lines as an exuberant and somewhat irritable manic genius. Jake Gyllenhaal, as the hunky math geek with pecs for days, is very nice to look at throughout. But Paltrow is the movie's center. My favorite moment is when she snaps at her dowdy and annoying older sister (who is asking her to prove she wrote the Proof by reciting it in an instant from memory): "It's 40 pages long. It's not a muffin recipe!"