6.7/10
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Proof (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 7 October 2005 (USA)
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1:47 | Trailer
The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician, recently deceased, tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students, who wants to search through his papers, and her estranged sister, who shows up to help settle his affairs.

Director:

John Madden

Writers:

David Auburn (play), David Auburn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gwyneth Paltrow ... Catherine
Anthony Hopkins ... Robert
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Harold Dobbs - Hal
Danny McCarthy ... Cop
Hope Davis ... Claire
Tobiasz Daszkiewicz ... Limo Driver (as Tobiacz Daszkiewicz)
Gary Houston ... Professor Barrow
Anne Wittman ... Friend at Party
Leigh Zimmerman ... Friend at Party
Colin Stinton ... Theoretical Physicist
Leland Burnett Leland Burnett ... Band Vocalist
John Keefe ... University Friend
Chipo Chung ... University Friend
C. Gerod Harris ... University Friend (as C Gerod Harris)
Roshan Seth ... Professor Bhandari
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Storyline

The daughter of a brilliant but mentally disturbed mathematician (recently deceased) tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity. Complicating matters are one of her father's ex-students who wants to search through his papers and her estranged sister who shows up to help settle his affairs. Written by B.B.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Things that are intangible are difficult to prove - sanity, love and faith See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual content, language and drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dokaz See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$193,840, 18 September 2005

Gross USA:

$7,535,331

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,189,860
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gwyneth Paltrow was pregnant with Apple Martin while filming. See more »

Goofs

Items on the floor change position after Catherine empties the backpack. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Robert: [stirring her out of a dream] Can't sleep?
Catherine: Oh, Jesus! Oh, you scared me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #33.95 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Inhaler
(1997)
Written by Dave Warrin (as D Warrin), John Warrin (as J Warrin), Guy Gershoni (as G Gershoni) (California Soul-SESAC)
Performed by Slide Five
1997 © (p) Ubiquity Recordings Inc.
All Rights Reserved
Licensed courtesy of Ubiquity Recordings, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Proof" Adds Up
2 October 2005 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

I love a movie in which every moment of it feels authentic, and "Proof" is that kind of movie. Critics have had a fairly mediocre response to the film, so I was somewhat surprised that I liked it so much. But it's easily one of the best movies I've seen this year.

I didn't see the David Auburn play on which the movie is based, and maybe many of the film's detractors have: screen adaptations of favorite plays often seem to dilute them to the detriment of the story. But if this movie is worse than its stage counterpart, it must have made one damn fine play.

The acting in this film is its major attribute, and director John Madden is wise enough to realize the talent of his ensemble and stand out of their way. He plays a bit with chronology and lets the pieces of his story click into place much like a math puzzle; I don't know whether or not this is original to the film or borrowed from the play, but either way it works well. But mostly, he lets the actors strut their stuff, and the four principals make the most of meaty roles.

Most of the acclaim has been falling, and rightly so, to Gwyneth Paltrow, who gives a full-bodied, textured and powerful performance as Catherine, who has inherited her genius at math from her father and is deathly afraid that she may have inherited his madness as well. I don't know that Paltrow has yet had a role as substantial as this one, and she flexes her acting chops in a way I have not seen her do outside of her underrated performance in "Sylvia." Hope Davis matches her scene for scene as the astringent older sister; it's refreshing to see Davis break away from the mousy, mealy persona she so frequently adopts and play this crisp, overwhelming character. The male actors have less to do overall, but the roles are perfectly cast. Jake Gyllenhaal is ripe for stardom, and this may be the year that brings it. Anthony Hopkins has been dismissed as hammy here, but I think he does an effective job of portraying mental illness, and creates heartbreaking moments that could have been ruined had they been played differently.

"Proof" feels entirely honest about the dynamics of dysfunctional families; you just know David Auburn is writing from personal experience. Like Robert Redford's "Ordinary People," if you have any exposure to similar family dynamics, you know the team that put the film together got everything just right. "Proof" also creates a parallel between mathematics and the messiness of life that makes one re-evaluate the rigidity of what always appears to be an exact science. As one must accept a level of ambiguity in life, one must also be willing to make leaps of faith in mathematics, because nothing can be 100% proved.

I highly recommend this film. It's satisfying on both an intellectual and emotional level. And any movie that can make math exciting to me gets an automatic thumbs up.

Grade: A


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