Searching for Bobby Fischer

Searching for Bobby Fischer

UPC: 97363267348

Josh Waitzkin is just a typical American boy interested in baseball when one day he challenges his father at chess and wins. Showing unusual precocity at the outdoor matches at Washington Square in New York City; he quickly makes friends with a hustler named Vinnie who teaches him speed chess. Josh’s parents hire a renowned chess coach; Bruce; who teaches Josh the usefulness of measured planning. Along the way Josh becomes tired of Bruce’s system and chess in general and purposely throws a match; leaving the prospects of winning a national championship in serious jeopardy.Steve Zaillian, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Schindler’s List, made his directorial debut with this critically acclaimed but little-seen drama based on the nonfiction book by Fred Waitzkin, about a father (Joe Mantegna) who discovers that his seven-year-old son (Max Pomeranc) is a genius at playing chess. The boy plays chess for fun, but when he’s tutored by a former champion (Ben Kingsley) and entered into high-pressure competitions, an enjoyable pastime becomes a source of tension and resentment, forcing the father to reconsider his parental priorities. A poignant study of the difference between parental idealism and proper parenting, the movie is also an observantly witty portrait of a precocious child who is still, after all, a child, and still eager for the joyful discoveries of youth. While offering a fascinating look into the world of competitive chess, the movie’s dramatically engrossing and extremely well-acted by a brilliant cast that also includes David Paymer, William H. Macy, and Dan Hedaya in memorable supporting roles. –Jeff Shannon

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