Lawrence Bender is the producer of several films with lasting notoriety through the years. Born in the Bronx, New York in 1957, Bender was originally a civil engineer. He graduated the University of Maine in 1979 with a degree in Civil Engineering, following his grandfather’s career footsteps. Taking a distinctly different path than his degree selection, Lawrence Bender became a dancer after college, but his dancing career was ended by an injury. After the injury Bender transitioned into acting and finally landed upon directing, though he does often feature himself in a small part of the movies he directs.
One of the movies directed by Lawrence Bender that has truly stood the test of time is Good Will Hunting. Starring Hollywood greats Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Minnie Driver, this film is about a young man working as a janitor at M.I.T. The young man (Damon) is a mathematical genius who begins solving lengthy problems that only a handful of individuals in the world could solve. When it is finally discovered who is solving the problems left on the blackboard, the professor (Robin Williams) wants to offer a multitude of career possibilities to the janitor; however, the young man is dealing with legal issues and emotional difficulties.
The acting in Good Will Hunting is phenomenal under the guidance of Bender’s directing. Robin Williams gives a timeless performance, Matt Damon is the bad boy genius who makes the viewer root for his success while Ben Affleck and Minnie Driver seamlessly support the story line with their noteworthy performances.
Good Will Hunting won two Oscars and was nominated for several more. Additionally, it won a Golden Globe plus three nominations while also winning a Screen Actor’s Guild Award and an award at the Berlin International Film Festival. The list of other awards and nominations for this fantastic film are quite lengthy.
Also to his credit, Lawrence Bender is the only producer to have two films in the Berlin Film Festival simultaneously competing in 1997: Good Will Hunting and Jackie Brown. He is also business partners with the film production genius Quentin Tarantino. Other films that he is best known for include Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), and Inglorious Bastards (2009).