Good Will Hunting

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writers: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
Director of Photography: Jean Yves Escoffier
Editor: Pietro Scalia
Music: Danny Elfman
Production Designer: Missy Stewart
Producer: Lawrence Bender
Miramax; R; 125 minutes
Release: 12/97
Cast: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Robin Williams, Stellan Skarsgard, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser and George Plimpton

Good Will Hunting
Archive Photos

In the hands of any other director, Good Will Hunting would probably have emerged as a drippy Gen-X coming-of-age tale. Instead, the ever cool Van Sant has crafted an endearing yet straightforward coming-of-age tale that realistically captures each character's turmoil and explores their depth of emotion without being exploitatively mawkish. Rebellious MIT janitor Will Hunting (Damon) anonymously solves a mind-bending equation on a blackboard. When the math professor (Skarsgard) who posed the problem to his students discovers Will's secret genius, he wants to help this prodigy put his gift to use. But Will would rather hang out with his buddies from South Boston than mingle with the highbrow Cambridge, Massachusetts students. Enter Sean McGuire (Williams), a court-ordered therapist who comes from Will's close-knit neighborhood and wants to help Will choose his own destiny. Through their sparring and speechifying, Will and Sean form a close bond that helps both men mature and reflect. Williams is superb in this serious role that doesn't demand obnoxious histrionics.

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