Robin Williams - part 2
Williams was a genius, a warm-hearted, funny, frighteningly intelligent, mad genius, one capable of making you laugh and cry. My favourite films of his, Good Will Hunting + The Fisher King both involve characters dealing with psychological trauma. In the former he plays a kindly, down to earth therapist and in the latter someone who's psyche is torn asunder by the violent death of his wife.
There is a scene in Good Will Hunting (in my all time top 5 films) in which Williams' therapist, Sean, gives to Will (Matt Damon) the most brilliant riposte on the theme of life experiences after Will had presumed to have learned all about the therapist from a watercolour painting of his hanging in his office that Will had analysed and metaphorically torn apart. It is a brilliantly written scene delivered in an unshowy but heartfelt manner by Williams. He received his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for this role.
The film itself is, like Dead Poets mentioned in my previous post, one that has had a profound effect on me over the years and is one that I am always quick to recommend or share with friends. The "It's not your fault" scene towards the end had me in floods of tears the first time I saw the film and it still effects me deeply watching it today. The understanding of human nature and sensitivity shown by Matt Damon + Ben Affleck in their writing of the screenplay as Harvard University students is quite remarkable, but it's the performances of Williams + Damon which reach their climax in this scene that make it so truly special and one of my favourite scenes of all time.
Here it is: