They should really let writers direct more often. Sure, they aren't trained for it all the time, but it has a good track record. Take David Keopp (writer of the infamous The Lost World), the bane of modern literature when not directing, but able to turn out a stylish character drama and thriller when he is (The Trigger Effect). Then take a look at the independent world. Quentin Tarantino, and Steven Soderberg (Sex, Lies, and Videotape) to name a couple. Oh, yeah, Pleasantville, let's not forget that one. And, of course, we have Steven Zallian, who turned out Awakenings and Schindler's List, directing the family drama Searching for Bobby Fischer.
A family at its roots, the film follows the true story of chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin, a kind New York youth who teaches himself to play chess by watching other play in the park and rises to become the national youth champion. A story like this would have generated the money alone, but, unlike some of his counterparts in studio cinema, Steven Zaillian has never been content for a mediocre money-maker film. He brings in the element of family drama strongly showing how the relationshp between father and son is torn apart and brought together by the game.
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