Thursday Movie Picks: Prodigy/Genius.

This Thursday we’re looking at the wonderful minds of certain individuals. I like this theme because its subjective; there’s a difference between artistic genius and academic genius so it’ll be interesting to see everyone’s picks. My first two picks are Academy Award winners and the final one, a childhood favourite. So without further ado, here are my Thursday Movie Picks. 

Good Will Hunting. (1997)

Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Robin Williams. Three giants in the industry, one who is sadly with us no longer. You probably know the film; a self-taught math genius (Damon) begins solving mathematical problems at the university he’s a janitor at. When the professor discovers its him, he offers to teach him more providing he undergos sessions with a psychologist. This is where he meets Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) who refuses to put up with Will’s shit, but won’t give up on him. Despite being a film about a genius, it’s really about relationships. Will’s inner demons plague him throughout the film, as do Sean’s. It really is a beautiful film and deserves every single bit of praise it gets.

good will.jpg

Image credit: IMDB

The Theory of Everything. (2014)

The film that sky rocketed Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne to their hug star status. (I know Redmayne was in Les Mis, but this film really put him in the spotlight). Theory of Everything chronicles the life of one of the greatest minds in history: Steven Hawkins. It really was fascinating. For all my life, I’ve always known him to be bound to a wheel chair and relying on his mechanical voice. However, seeing this film put him in a whole new light: his family life, his wife’s struggles with being a mother and a carer to her husband. Some parts were extremely tough to watch, but all in all was a spectacular and hearty film.

theory of.jpg

Image credit: IMDB

Matilda. (1996)

I know it’s a book, a very good one at that. But the Roal Dahl book and the Danny DeVito film are MUCH different. The film stars Mara Wilson as the eponymous hero who is so smart, that her brain gives her telekinetic powers to deal with all its unused energy. Matilda’s family doesn’t appreciate her, neither does her child hating head teacher. However, he school teacher, Miss Honey sees how special Matilda is and the two work together to overthrow the evil head mistress Ms Trunchbull; who is Miss Honey’s aunt and lives in Honey’s house. I watched this film a hundred times as a kid; the pancake making scene changed my life and the soundtrack is great. It really is a feel-good, upbeat film that is hard not to love.


Image credit: IMDB

That’s it for my picks. Let me know what your picks were, hope you enjoyed reading!




15 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Prodigy/Genius.

  1. joelnox says:

    Unsurprisingly Will Hunting is one of the big titles of the week. I’ve seen it a few times, initially in the theatre and a couple times after but it’s been quite a while. It was such a buzzy title when it first hit big and Damon and Affleck were unknowns suddenly thrust into the spotlight. It was great to watch two stars be born at the same time especially since they were buddies. I should probably revisit it soon.

    I seem to be in the minority but I found Theory of Everything a slog after about the first half hour. Hawkings story is compelling but I couldn’t connect to the film.

    Matilda!! Inspired choice! A sweet film with Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman having a high old time hamming it up.

    There’s so many ways to go with this week I decided to do a theme within a theme and picked a trio that looked at musical prodigies.

    The Legend of 1900 (1998)-In the year 1900 Danny Boodmann, a stoker (Bill Nunn) on an American ship discovers an abandoned baby left on board. Taking him in to raise as his own he gives him a long unwieldy name eventually shortened to 1900 as the pair live their life at sea. As 1900 grows his musical genius becomes apparent and he becomes the ship’s mascot. After a tragedy befalls Danny 1900 remains on board growing to manhood (where he is played by Tim Roth) never touching dry land but continuing to hone his skill (including a fantastic sequence where he plays a waltz during a storm at sea). In time he befriends Max, a trumpeter in the ship orchestra (Taylor Pruitt Vince) and it is through his reverie we learn 1900’s story.

    Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)-Starring Shirley Temple, one of Hollywood’s premier musical prodigies (in terms of dollars & cents THE musical prodigy) as the rich girl of the title. Barbara (that would be Shirl) on her way to boarding school is left to her own devices when her nanny is killed in an accident. Barbara unaware of this but not wanting to go to the school wanders the city until she becomes acquainted with and is taken in by a pair of down on their luck performers Jimmy & Jerry Dolan (Jack Oakie & Alice Faye). Thinking she’s an orphan and realizing that she’s a musical prodigy they put Barbara in their act as their daughter. Soon they hit the big time with their own radio show overseen by ad exec Margaret Allen (Gloria Stuart of Titanic fame) where they’re heard by Barbara’s widowed father who has been searching for her frantically. One of the better Temple vehicles with a first rate supporting cast, both Oakie and Alice Faye get several chances to strut their stuff, and no matter how you feel about her Shirley was a bundle of talent.

    Amadeus (1984)-Multi Oscar winning story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) and Antonio Salieri (an Oscar winning F. Murray Abraham) and how Salieri’s jealousy of Mozart’s genius lead to great tragedy for both. Amazing music, performances, set design and direction. An essential film.


  2. Birgit says:

    Good Will Hunting is a great movie and so well acted especially Robin Williams. The Theory of Everything is also popular this week but, like Joel, I am not a fan. I found it meh and I kept thinking he looked like a young Austin Powers. I have not seen Matilda probably because I am a bit older and have no kids.


  3. Dell on Movies (@w_ott3) says:

    Good Will Hunting is certainly this week’s big winner. It’s everywhere, and rightfully so. It’s a wonderful film. I’m not so big on The Theory of Everything. Just didn’t work for me. Surprisingly, I’ve never seen Matilda. I can’t figure out if it’s because my daughters never discovered it, or just never made me watch it.


    • actualandrew says:

      GWH is everywhere, but when I wrote this I knew it would be. I read Matilda in school (or should I say my teacher read it to us) and I saw the film a bunch of times in school and on tv that it just became a favourite growing up.


  4. Sonia says:

    I’ve only seen scenes from Matilda, but they weren’t even enough to know she was a prodigy. Good call on Good Will Hunting and The Theory of Everything, those are two fantastic films!


  5. Cathy Kennedy says:

    YYour first two picks showed up a few times already, which I was happy to learn of and to add to my watch list. This is the first time to see “Matilda” which I do recall seeing on either Netflix or Amazon Prime and is no longer available to stream unless I pay the rent or purchase fee. However, I did find it on YouTube and plan to catch it sometime. Thanks for sharing. Have a good weekend!


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