Written by David Auburn and Rebecca Miller
Directed by John Madden
Screening at FACT from 24th February 2006
Based on the award-winning play by David Auburn, Proof explores the delicate
line that exists between genius and madness. It follows the relationship
between Robert (Anthony Hopkins) - a mathematical phenomenon in his youth
who has descended into madness in later life - and his daughter Catherine
Catherine is plagued with worry that she has not only inherited her father’s
gift for maths but also his mental instability. Catherine is drained and
empty after years of caring for her father, unwilling and unable to embrace
anything that life has to offer outside of the walls of their house, including
the advances of maths geek Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal). Catherine finds little
comfort from her well-meaning but ultimately shallow sister (Hope Davis).
The film manages to be both tender and painful without the usual Hollywood
gloss. Paltrow gives a convincing performance of a sunken young woman
in turmoil, and Hopkins is as strong as ever a man desperately seeking
to regain his faculties.
The script offers surprises throughout that continually pull the audience
into the film. It is ultimately a strong, thought-provoking offering from
Shakespeare In Love director John Madden. Those who are prepared to follow
a dialogue-heavy script will be well rewarded.