Movie Reviews: The Pursuit Of Happyness
Will Smith is drawing some of the strongest reviews in his career for his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness, based on a true story about the struggle of a single father to work his way out of homelessness. Amy Biancolli in the Houston Chronicle observes that Smith has always excelled at playing the ordinary guy, but in this film "Smith brings the art of guyness to an apex of compassion and understanding; he blends into the part of a downtrodden single dad with such easy-bones naturalism that it's hard, for once, to remember that he's Will Smith, movie star." Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer tersely calls his performance "restrained and nuanced." But here's Richard Roeper's take on it in the Chicago Sun-Times: "With his work in "The Pursuit of Happyness," Smith serves notice he is not only a genuine movie star, he's a four-star actor (even in a three-star movie). It is a sublime, fully realized performance, and it is worthy of an Academy Award nomination." The movie itself doesn't receive the praise that is afforded Smith, but it does generally receive a warm reception. Ty Burr in the Boston Globe describes it this way: "A quietly agonized drama of reaching and missing and reaching again, it takes place in the crack between the American dream and its nightmare shadow. It's a fine film, with a portrait of fatherhood that feels scuffed and driven and real."