**/**** Image A- Sound A- Extras D+
starring Sean Connery, F. Murray Abraham, Anna Paquin, Busta Rhymes
screenplay by Mike Rich
directed by Gus Van Sant
by Walter Chaw Not content to play Salieri on film just once, F. Murray Abraham, after years of toiling away in decidedly lowbrow productions subsequent to Amadeus, has returned to the role that made him fitfully famous. It's interesting to me that an actor who found fleeting celebrity (as a composer who borrowed fame very briefly) would choose to make a 'comeback' portraying a once almost-famous writer/now frustrated teacher of English at a snotty prep school. Still, given the level of relative originality in Finding Forrester, it's not entirely unexpected that a secondary character played by a rather limited character actor is transplanted whole cloth from another film. On the other hand, something of a surprise is that Sean Connery would reprise his performance as an antisocial genius (who opens his heart to a creature of the Bronx) from Medicine Man, and that Gus Van Sant would try to resuscitate the flyblown carcass of Good Will Hunting by cleverly splicing it together with The Paper Chase.