Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn, “Proof” follows a devoted daughter (Paltrow) who comes to terms with the death of her father (Hopkins) a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental insanity — and is forced to face her own long-harbored fears and emotions. She adjusts to his death with the help of one of her father’s former mathematical students (Gyllenhaal) who searches through her father’s notebooks in the hope of discovering a bit of his old brilliance. While coming to terms with the possibility that his genius, which she has inherited, may come at a painful price, her estranged sister (Davis) arrives to help settle their father’s affairs.
“Proof” deals with mental illness, the closeness of a father and daughter and how they both dealt with the reality of their situation. It seemed like you were watching a play instead of a movie, but that is because it is based on a play written by David Auburn. He also wrote the screenplay for the film.
John Madden does a marvelous job moving from what is happening in the present to flashbacks where Katherine (Paltrow), the daughter of a mathematical genius (Hopkins), remembers the last few years of her father’s life. Katherine is afraid to face that she might be like her father, not only in his genius for math, but also in his mental illness.
While “Proof” is well written, directed and contains top notch acting, the foul language and sex scene should prevent the family audience from attending.