THE BIGGEST RISK IN LIFE IS NOT TAKING ONE.
Catherine Llewellyn (Gwyneth Paltrow) has spent the last few years caring for her father (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant mathematician who lost his mind; after his death, she’s terrified of starting a life of her own. There’s a sense of security in maths; with the right tools you can prove anything. Paltrow’s character acts as if she’s looking for proof that she will not inherit her father’s disease, leading her to reject any semblance between herself and the father, including her own brilliance. This is a magnificent performance by Paltrow; the rest of the cast are also solid. Director John Madden did everything right in transferring the play from stage to screen; the film is haunting.
2005-U.S. 99 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Robert Kessel, Alison Owen, Jeffrey Sharp, John Hart. Directed by John Madden. Screenplay: David Auburn, Rebecca Miller. Play: David Auburn. Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow (Catherine Llewellyn), Anthony Hopkins (Robert Llewellyn), Jake Gyllenhaal (Harold Dobbs), Hope Davis, Roshan Seth.
Trivia: Paltrow played her part on stage as well. The original story was allegedly based on that of John Nash, which was also told in A Beautiful Mind (2001).
Last word: “In 2002, I wasn’t thinking so much about how to adapt ‘Proof’ as a film; I was more pre-occupied with directing the play. The Donmar is a small, intimate space, and we had decided to strip the physical world of the play back to its essentials, to the deck of the porch and its roof, pretty much. The set revolved between the scenes, isolating Catherine in a kind of subjective space; it suggested someone turning an idea around in their head. This also had the effect of pushing the actors forward, exposing them, making them almost tangible; the front rows could literally reach out and touch them. It struck me that I kept being told how cinematic the experience was, that it felt somehow like watching a film.” (Madden, EmanuelLevy.com)