My contribution for the Tears of a Clown blogathon hosted by Wendell at Dell on Movies. The rules are simple:
1. Create a post about a comedic actor in a non-comedic role. Tell us what are your favorite comedic roles of this performer. More importantly, tell us why you like the dramatic role in question. Be as thorough as you feel you need to be. Convince us it's a great performance.
2. Use one of the banners in this post.
3. Include a link back to this post.
4. Leave a link to your post in the comments section below or tweet it to me @w_ott3
Multiple posts on the same performance are allowed, so don't worry about who picked what. You're all pretty creative so I'm sure we'll get a nice variety.
The deadline for this is two weeks from today - Friday, May 29, 2015
Good Will Hunting (1997) is a favorite of mine from the 90s. A number of movies set on campus are about parties and sex, and the deeper aspects of being young and confused are often glossed over. Gus Van Sant's film is that rare Hollywood movie that isn't dumbed down. The scenes with Robin Williams and Matt Damon are for me the highlights of the movie. Williams steals the scenes he's in, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting actor for his performance. The film was also acknowledged for its outstanding writing, taking home an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
What made Williams' performance so memorable to me is I watched it for the first time as a 16-year-old when your window is wide open to input and you are searching for a path in life. I'm not a genius, but I could identify with Will and his need for guidance.
While Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) may not have as high an IQ as Will Hunting (Matt Damon), Sean is far more experienced and wise. He passes on many valuable things to Will, how you can't get everything from books, the difference between knowledge and experience, the importance of love and tenderness, and how you need someone who challenges you. Dr. Sean Maguire is a person you would want in your corner. The character is layered and not infallible, sensitive to criticism when Will comments on his painting. Yet knows who he is and what is important to him in life, and is open to helping and sharing personal anecdotes from his life despite Will's cocky attitude. I think most people have someone special who has motivated them to grow into who they are. I know I have several. What's great about the film is it's not simply a mentor passing on wisdom and a young man receiving, Sean is also challenged by Will.
Williams gives the character both vulnerability and strength, and I really believed he was a therapist. I was able to care about him, despite Williams only on screen for a few scenes in the movie. Others have argued John Keating in Dead Poets Society (1989) is Robin Williams' defining dramatic role, and I wouldn't argue against that. You could even make comparisons between John Keating and Sean Maguire, which are both characters that inspire others to find direction. I haven't even mentioned Robin Williams' comedic roles such as Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) or his stand-up shows. It's very sad he is no longer with us. He had a lot to offer the world.
Have you seen Good Will Hunting? What did you think of Williams' performance? Which is your favorite dramatic performance by Robin Williams?