This movie definitely has some “flashes of genius.” For instance, when part-time inventor Robert Kearns represents himself in a court battle, we really believe he is going to lose his proverbial shirt. But, in the courtroom, right before our very eyes, he gradually transforms himself from a bumbling, inept lawyer wannabe to a compelling, passionate man so sure of his ideals that we can’t help but holler and hoot for him.
This film is based on the true story of Bob Kearns, a Detroit Physics professor who invented the intermittent windshield wiper…then gets it stolen from him, lock, stock, and barrel. Kearns becomes obsessed with winning it back and hires an attorney to sue Ford Motor Company who did end up with a strangely similar wiper, but naturally denies using Bob’s blueprint.
Greg Kinnear has ventured such a long way from the affable talk show host. He displays many ranges as an actor, all of the way from extreme joy to total despair and every emotion in between. Veteran actor Alan Alda plays the smug attorney Gregory Lawson perfectly. Lawson attempts to give Kearns a huge dose of harsh reality in advising him to settle for a quarter of a million, but our hero has no desire to take the money and run.
Instead, Kearns settles in for the battle of a lifetime…a battle that actually drug on for three decades. In the end he accomplishes what would probably be nearly impossible today and what could be likened to David slaying Goliath. It’s just a shame that he lost the love of his life in the process.
I appreciate Mr. Kearns’ invention each and every time a light mist falls from the sky and Our Prattville also highly recommends Flash of Genius.
Article by Melissa Parker
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