Posted by celticman on Wed, 26 Jan 2011
Proof shows the Gwyneth Paltrow can act. Anthony Hopkins plays her deceased father, an elderly Russell Crowe/John Forbes Nash character spending his last maniac years writing for 20 hours a day, but he has periods of remission. One of the best lines is when she gets up at a memorial service for her father and asks where they had all been when her father stank and mumbled and took no notice of anyone. ‘I’m glad he’s dead.’ I remember that truth well. Hal, aka Jake Gyllenhaal, a physicist wants to mine those books in the hope that the spark of brilliance can carry him further than ordinarily he can go. He wants to be immortal, in the way that Hopkins’s character is immortalised, by publishing something so revolutionary it becomes a paradigm for future generations. Gwyneth is the gatekeeper to his dreams at once aloof and alone and just out of reach. And she’s damaged. It’s there in the way she sits. In the way she moves. In the way she forgets to eat. She is also so damned smart. She’s her father’s daughter. When one of the notebooks reveals ‘proof’ of a new way of looking at prime numbers Hal has got the career he thinks he deserves already planned out. Gwyneth claims it wasn’t her father’s work, but hers. Jake doesn’t believe her, destroying their nascent romance and perhaps even her fragile sense of self. The answer doesn’t lie in graphology, but good old-fashioned science. The null hypothesis of proof is proving Gwyneth couldn’t or didn’t write the proof about prime numbers. But, of course, Gwy is thin enough to do anything. I believe in her.