To tell a story, and to tell it well, is probably the only universal ethic
of film-making, and any film-maker who can create on screen a picture of reality
that rings true in his audiences' minds can be said to have done his job. And
you can say Gus Van Sant does his job in Finding Forrester, a tale of a reclusive
writer and a sixteen-year-old black boy who teaches him the value of life even
as he learns from him the worth of words.
Sounds a little saccharine? Well, it isn't. Finding Forrester is a tale sparingly told, with no pretense of preaching a....