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[School of Movies 2019]

Back in late 1997 while Titanic was tearing up the box office around the time it came to pick the nominees for awards season, this small, personal drama was impressing small, personal audiences everywhere.

It's kind of gut-churning to look at the way this was promoted, courting awards left right and centre, all to further Miramax and their manufactured prestige. One of the posters shunted the actors to the left to fill most of the sheet with proclamations of its many accolades. Uncomfortable because of who Miramax was run by but also inappropriate because this is arguably Gus Van Sant's best and most delicate film, it's the serious introduction of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to the world of cinema, and most of all it's debatably the finest dramatic performance in Robin Williams' illustrious career. 

It's exceptionally well-played by a fantastic cast, contains at least four world-class dramatic scenes, and in our discussion of it, considering the subject matter of unseen parental abuse and the havoc it can wreak on developing minds, things got pretty heavy. So this might be a difficult show for some to get through, but I hope the end result is worthwhile.

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