It was at director John Madden's insistence that Gwyneth Paltrow trod the boards for David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-snagging stage original of Proof. And though critics were eager to shred her to the bone, old Gwynnie came good. It's the same story on screen where, as a daughter wracked with grief at the death of her father (Anthony Hopkins' schizophrenic maths prof) and fearful of having inherited both his genius and condition, Paltrow excels.
Yet despite the conviction of its lead, whose wraithlike fragility perfectly befits the brittle Catherine, Proof loses something in the transfer. The flashbacks used for Hopkins (all King Lear bluster and dimly flickering lucidity) feel overly functional, Jake Gyllenhaal's love interest is a drippy geek and the gallows humour evaporates amidst the blanched cinematography.