John Madden's adaptation of David Auburn's award-wining Proof retains much of the work's outstanding dialogue. There is a lack of emotional immediacy to the film, but that has more to do with the characters being from a highly academic world. These are people who are always attempting to be exact and clear, and much of the drama of Gwyneth Paltrow's character -- a part she played on stage in London -- comes simply from the fact that she does not want to face in clear and exact terms what she is feeling. The trick to the presenting this material is maintaining the balance between the characters. The audience has to constantly wonder which of these characters they can believe. Madden does a fine job of keeping this element of the play in tact, even if Jake Gyllenhaal's Hal tips the scale by being played a bit too nice. Madden also does not "open up" the play so much as go deeper into it. He does a fine job editing the film in order to reveal information in ways one is unable to on the stage. This is a fine film with solid performances.
by Perry Seibert review