Around the Island

Movies at the Library’s Oscar-winning season opener


“Good Will Hunting,” which will be presented next Tuesday evening, September 30 at 7 p.m., is one of the gems that is the legacy of Robin Williams’ film work; he received an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

The screenplay was written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who also won Academy Award honors in 1997.

The story centers around Will, a janitor at MIT (played by Damon), who is discovered to be a natural mathematical genius. He and the powers-that-be turn to a troubled psychologist (Williams) to sort out the young man’s problems. But Will is a headstrong, working-class genius who is failing the lessons of life.

The powerful scenes between Damon and Williams, confrontational and frank, are at the heart of the movie.

The film is directed by Gus Van Sant in a surprisingly straightforward way with a few quirky touches, and the cast provides superb performances. The stars, Damon and Williams, are wonderful, and there are strong supporting performances by Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver, Stellan Skarsgard and a cameo role by George Plimpton.

While the story line is a bit trite and the profanity will bother some, “Good Will Hunting” is a near masterpiece that will be enjoyed by viewers of all ages and backgrounds. Don’t miss it next Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the lower level of the library, as Movies at the Library begins its 11th season of presenting “great movies, known and unknown.”

As always, admission is free, as are the snacks and bottled water.

See you at the movies!