The movie Proof (2005), starring Anthony Hopkins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hope Davis and Jake Gyllenhaal is a hauntingly beautiful thriller tale about the delicately balanced equation between love, life and death with a gamut of emotions played out to perfection by Oscar-winning actors who keep us guessing all along with truly shining performances.
Directed by John Madden, Proof is skillfully adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn in which Gwyneth Paltrow played the same character, Catherine on the stage. The moving music score for PROOF was composed by Stephen Warbeck, the Academy Award-winning composer of Shakespeare In Love, also directed by John Madden and starring Gwyneth Paltrow!
Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) plays the devoted daughter of Robert (Anthony Hopkins) formerly an eminent, genius professor of mathematics who in later years became mentally unstable causing his genius to slip into the past. Catherine had devoted many years to caring for her father, in the Chicago family home they shared together, until his death. Catherine too had followed her father’s footsteps into the highly academic world of maths, having inherited his genius, although caring for Robert had held her back or so she thought.
Proof opens with Catherine dreaming of her recently deceased father, whose funeral is to be held the following day. (Anthony Hopkins appears throughout the movie in flashback). The story centres around Catherine’s coming to terms with her father’s death, her deep rooted fear that she has inherited her father’s mental state along with his genius, and some unanswered mysterious questions concerning her father’s past – a powerful cocktail which causes Catherine to question her own future and affects her sanity. Proof explores the likely danger that can result from assuming insanity to be present when it in fact is not.
Claire (Hope Davis) plays Catherine’s well-meaning but selfish, estranged sister who arrives from New York for the funeral and to console the troubled Catherine. The sisters too have issues.
Catherine finds solace in Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), her father’s student and research assistant. Hal feels Robert may have left behind some mathematical work of great importance which needs to be discovered. Hal digs through Robert’s numerous old maths papers and notebooks in his study in desperate search of lasting proof of her father’s enduring genius – he too has to face the possibility that Catherine may have inherited more than genius….
Accusations fly, revelations of love and regret abound in this superbly slick thriller with the moving music providing added drama and enjoyment right up to the surprising conclusion.
Proof is undoubtedly, well deserved to be one of Anthony Hopkins top 10 movies – the soundtrack music is now available on CD and well worth getting.