Known as the neighborhood recluse, silver-haired Robert Forrester (Connery) is a man whose mystery and eccentricity border on the mythical. When Jamal a talented African-American scholar-athlete who is recruited by an elite Manhattan prep school for his brilliance on and off the basketball court— sneaks into his apartment and accidentally leaves behind his backpack full of writings, they both get something unexpected in return. Compelled to look past skin color and suppositions, Jamal encounters not only his first fan, but a mentor who will challenge and change him forever, and Forrester has his first reason in years to emerge from his self-imposed solitude.
Finding Forrester is in my opinion, Sean Connery’s best work on the silver screen, including his impressive run as the incomparable James Bond. Rob Brown, a newly discovered actor plays a totally convincing role as Jamal Warner, the intelligent, but poor urban teenager who, with Forrester’s help, overcomes socio-economic and racial barriers to become the perfect apprentice to his wise old mentor. Produced by Connery, this film is a special tribute to talented director, Gus Van Sant (Goodwill Hunting). He deftly wove first-time writer, Mike Rich’s story and newcomer, Brown’s raw aptitude into a seamless tapestry by blending in the noble talent of Oscar-winner, Sir Sean. The only ingredient that keeps me from awarding “Finding Forrester” Five Doves, the highest rating for a film’s overall quality, is the misuse of language. I say misuse because the lead character is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of legendary stature. I cannot imagine such a world-class ‘word-wizard’ stooping to use such obscenities and profanities as those that soiled an otherwise flawless movie – all that, I assume, for a PG-13 rating. I’ll wager that future commercial airline passengers will enjoy this film, sans profanities, without being the wiser.