Pin It
Favorite

Take Two 

by Ed Symkus & r & & lt;i & Proof & lt;/i & & r & If you like your films filled with questions, some of which will be answered and some that you'll go home wondering about, catch this one while you can. Based on the stage play by David Auburn (who also adapted the script), which took place entirely on a front porch, the film has been opened up to numerous locations, but still focuses on a family's struggles with the ins and outs of madness.


Gwyneth Paltrow -- in sad, lonely, fragile, forlorn mode -- plays Catherine, a bright young woman (actually, Paltrow is a little old for the part) who puts a promising career in mathematics on hold to take care of her schizophrenic father, Robert (Anthony Hopkins). She has no friends, she doesn't like her sister, she has only Dad to talk to. And she does, telling him that she's worried she might go crazy, just like he did. "You won't," he tells her in the opening scene. And there's warmth in his voice to go with his smile.


There are hints that Catherine may be going insane -- then again, maybe it's just worry about her father and the impending visit by her pushy sister (Hope Davis).


That's what this intense and talkative film keeps asking. The answer is eventually supplied, as are most of the answers to most of the questions that wend their way into the script. There are flashbacks to earlier, easier days in the father-daughter relationship, and these show the always great Hopkins in a clipped and one-dimensional performance. It's later in the film, during the heights of his illness, and the brief moments of clarity it allows him, that he lets loose, his character coming out from under a cloud and, as he puts it, catching on fire.


Paltrow's performance seems limited in that she's playing a very confused person who's stuck in a very deep rut. But after an amazing monologue at the funeral, and definitely by the end, it's safe to say that her acting here is of the powerhouse variety. The film becomes a series of studies of relationships between her and different people -- her obnoxious, polar opposite sister (who might as well be the character's mother, and a manipulative one at that), her dad (who pops in and out of sanity) and Jake Gyllenhaal's Hal (her father's doctoral student, who has his eyes on her, even though she says she's "a little out of practice").


In order for Catherine to reclaim her own life, first she must come to terms with some hidden emotions. Proof reaches its heights when part of that struggle turns into a full-fledged mystery that must be solved. The ending is optimistic, but it's certainly not of the cookie-cutter variety that Hollywood so often likes to dole out.

  • Pin It

Latest in

  • The Council Whisperers
  • The Council Whisperers

    As the influence and activism of some city council assistants has grown, they've become a new target for conservative critics
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • Left Out
  • Left Out

    Two Spokane Valley city councilmen have resigned because of their differences with the four-person council majority
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • What Happened to John Marshall?
  • What Happened to John Marshall?

    The wife of a man found dead in the Spokane River is searching for answers three months after his death
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Treasure!

Treasure! @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 29

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Gentrification's Downside

    Displacement and the loss of an imperfect but honest neighborhood
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Making Room for Culture

    Why Eastern Washington University should respond to students' needs for a multicultural center
    • Apr 28, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

green zone


marijuana


TRAIL MIX


Comment


Election 2016


Readers also liked…

  • League of Justice
  • League of Justice

    Who's best positioned to bring vision and leadership to the Spokane County Prosecutor's Office?
    • Oct 22, 2014
  • 'We Want to Talk About Sex'
  • 'We Want to Talk About Sex'

    Can a group of students convince Gonzaga to change the way it handles sexual assault?
    • Nov 19, 2014

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation