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While watching 1991's Proof, one almost feels sorry for Genevieve Picot. The woman in the middle of a love triangle, Picot played against Russell Crowe and Hugo Weaving, both of whom have gone on to much bigger and brighter things than playing a store detective in Muriel's Wedding. And for many the draw of seeing Proof is seeing a pre-Gladiator Crowe and pre-Agent Smith Weaving. Fortunately for the curious, Proof is an assured small film that highlights the charms of its future leading men. Weaving stars as Martin, a blind photographer who's standoffish and coarse to his cleaning lady Celia (Picot), and to most everyone else in his life. As much of a jerk as he may be, he develops a friendship with Andy (Crowe), a likable but not especially bright young cook whom Martin entrusts to tell him what's in the photos he obsessively shoots everywhere he goes. Martin can sense much of the environment of what's in the photo, but he trusts Andy to tell him the truth, which then serves as definitive evidence of what he's experienced (his distrust is the obvious setup for the film's title). As Andy and Martin get closer, Celia feels jealous and first makes a move towards Martin (whom she's pined for, and entered into a mutually sadistic relationship with, simply to stay close to him) and then tries to alienate the budding friendship by sleeping with Andy. In someone else's hands the story might be too heady to watch as the drama skirts along Pinter territory, but Proof is light on its feet, often funny, and explains that Martin's pathos is related to his mother, whom he never really trusted and has always been wary of being taken advantage of because of his blindness. Directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse, it's an assured piece of filmmaking that is essentially a three-character drama but never feels claustrophobic or cheap because of it. And as an actor's piece, it offers both Crowe and Weaving two of the best roles of their careers, regardless of what they've done since. Crowe evinces the swagger that made him famous, while Weaving offers a complex performance that lets the audience get in the head of what in someone else's hands might be a desperately unlikable character. New Line presents Proof in anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) and DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. Extras include two audio commentaries, the first by director Moorhouse, the second by Weaving. Also included are photos from Martin's gallery as taken by Moorhouse, her husband/director P.J. Hogan, Weaving, and Jennifer Mitchel (4 min.), along with theatrical trailers for this and other New Line titles. Keep-case.

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