Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Gwyneth Paltrow
Anthony Hopkins
Jake Gyllenhaal
Hope Davis.
Directors
John Madden.
Screenwriters
David Auburn
Rebecca Miller.
Running Time
100 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
A Night At The Cinema In 1914
4 Star Empire Rating
Hide Your Smiling Faces
4 Star Empire Rating
A Promise
1 Star Empire Rating
Nut Job, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Mr. Morgan's Last Love
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating

Proof
Gwyneth Paltrow revives her stage performance for the big screen.


submit to reddit


Plot
Reeling from her mathematician father’s death, Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) gets involved with a student, Hal (Jake Gyllenhaal), and argues with her sister (Hope Davis), who fears for her mental health. When a genius mathematical proof is found in her father’s papers, Catherine is the subject of accusations and finds it hard to prove her sanity.


Review
Proof

Based on David Auburn’s play, Proof wears its theatrical origins on its sleeve, with a small cast, modest locations and act-based structure. None of this lessens the film’s impact: this exploration of a woman’s grief and mental struggle is best set in a claustrophobic environment with few characters to crowd her out.

By staying close to Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow) and gradually revealing her story by flashback, this beckons us deep into both her internal and external worlds. We want to believe in her sanity, but are forced to question it — perhaps like Catherine herself. Paltrow does an excellent job as the shy loner, affecting youthful, sulky mannerisms without resorting to stereotype. Anthony Hopkins, meanwhile, brings both gravitas and dark humour as Catherine’s mentally ill father, while Jake Gyllenhaal makes for an effective, if buff, maths geek.

That Proof spends little time on maths may come as a relief to some, but it makes the film’s centrepiece — the proof itself — something of a mystery, undermining the plot’s impact. Those who prefer character drama to number-crunching, however, will be well-served by this brooding tale.


Verdict
A subtle, slow-burning mystery that does justice to its themes of identity, sanity and sacrifice.


Reviewed by Anna Smith

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Proof
Empire Star Rating

Good

A good script and I'd say Paltrow's best performance ever but the ending was a complete 'is that it?' moment. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 11:43, 06 July 2008 | Report This Post


an average film which feels stagey , even with the high level cast involved ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by moviemaniac2 at 16:36, 07 January 2007 | Report This Post


Loved it

What a refreshing movie. Just when I'd given up on hopes of ever seeing a brilliant movie again, along comes Proof. Gwyneth Paltrow deals a brilliant performance but the whole cast is ultimately faultless. A great ensemble. A great film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by redlight at 01:02, 12 July 2006 | Report This Post


Charming but wouldn't bear repeated watching

I thought this was a charming film, albeit insubstantial. I didn't think it suffered from the play-translation process as much as, for example, Closer, and the performance of Gwyneth Paltrow (Catherine) really stood out. Anthony Hopkins solid as always, and Jake Gyllenhaal is pleasant on the eyes. I would have liked to see Hope Davis's character Claire fleshed out a little more though. She could have been made more sympathetic towards the end, especially after it becomes apparent that Catherine'... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by katerpillar at 14:57, 07 March 2006 | Report This Post


Very, very good film! I'm not a mathsy person, but this film really had all my attention from start to finish. All the actors were fantastic and there were some gorgeous shots. Some of the dialogue (mostly at the beginning, for me) was a bit clunky, but I thought this was a really good film that deal with a lot of issues and had fantastic characterisation. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Satine at 12:46, 04 March 2006 | Report This Post


RE: Adding Maths to Madness Once Again

I thought this was a good film. I thought everyone put in excellent turns, but.... For me the one things missing was the chemistry between Paltrow & Gyllenhaal. I realise their relationship is not actually pivotal to the plot nor is it of great importance, but that was the one thing that stood out as being wrong in my opinion. They were great in the roles they had, but totally mismatched for each other. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JV at 22:59, 15 February 2006 | Report This Post


Proof

If there's one thing I've learned from Hollywood, it's the fact that maths and mental stability rarely go hand-in-hand. If you are a maths genius who somehow manages to avoid schizophrenia or autism, then there's bound to be some other ailment on the horizon to ensure your life is not to be a happy one. In i], we have mathematical brilliance and mental woe which may or may not span two generations. Robert (Anthony Hopkins) certainly went a little loopy after a stunning career in which he redefi... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Philconcannon at 22:54, 15 February 2006 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
'I Have The Club But I Didn't Get The Lion's Head'
Dwayne Johnson (and pals) talks Hercules props, action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Director Matt Reeves Spills Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Secrets
What we learned from our Empire podcast spoiler special

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Kevin Feige Talks Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy And Doctor Strange
The Marvel boss updates us on the state of his cinematic universe

Video: Gary Oldman And Keri Russell Talk Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Would you watch Carry On Up The Planet Of The Apes?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)