How to listen to this scene: Good Will Hunting

How to listen to this scene: Good Will Hunting Park Scene

Learning Idioms from “Good Will Hunting”. A high-level listening exercise.

Here are some other links if that one doesn’t work for you…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GrfEeLlZW0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBjWHfBHKos

Watch this clip from the movie “Good Will Hunting”. You can also read the transcript below. Use a good dictionary to look up any words you don’t know.

Below the transcript, there are explanations for all of the idioms in the clip. There are also a few extra notes on what’s happening. After you’ve learned them, write practice sentences with them and post them in the comments. We’ll let you know if you’re using them correctly.

This exercise is best for students who have seen Good Will Hunting. For those who haven’t seen the movie, here’s an explanation of what happens before this scene.

Will (Matt Damon) is a young man who is a genius. It seems like he knows everything. However, he also gets in a lot of trouble. He fights a lot. One day after he is arrested, he has a choice. Either, he can go to a psychologist Sean (Robin Williams) or he has to go to jail. He chooses the psychologist, but the psychologist has trouble helping him. During their first meeting Will is very mean. He says some bad things about the psychologist’s wife. He didn’t know that she had died. The psychologist gets very angry. The scene below is their next meeting.

Now read the transcript of the movie clip.

WILL: So what’s this? A Taster’s Choice moment[1] between guys? This is really nice. You got a thing for swans[2]? Is this like a fetish? It’s something, like, maybe we need to devote some time to[3]?

SEAN: I thought about what you said to me the other day, about my painting.

WILL: Oh?

SEAN: Stayed up half the night thinking about it. Something occurred to me, I fell into a deep peaceful sleep, and I haven’t thought about you since. You know what occurred to me?

WILL: No.

SEAN: You’re just a kid. You don’t have the faintest idea what you’re talking about.

WILL: Why thank you.

SEAN: It’s all right.[4] You’ve never been out of Boston.

WILL: Nope.

SEAN: So, if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny[5] on every art book ever written. Michelangelo. You know a lot about him. Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientation, the whole works[6], right? But I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling. Seen that….

If I ask you about women, you’d probably give me a syllabus of your            personal favorites. You may have even been laid[7] a few times. But you can’t tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy.

You’re a tough kid. I ask you about war, you’d probably uh…throw Shakespeare at me, right? “Once more into the breach, dear friends.”[8] But you’ve never been near one. You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, and watched him gasp his last breath looking to you for help.

I ask you about love, you probably quote me a sonnet. But you’ve never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable…known someone that could level you[9] with her eyes. Feeling like God put an angel on Earth just for you…who could rescue you from the depths of Hell.

And you wouldn’t know what it’s like to be her angel, and to have that love for her be there forever. Through anything. Through cancer. And you wouldn’t know about sleepin’ sittin’ up in a hospital room for two months, holding her hand because the doctors could see in your eyes that the terms visiting hours don’t apply to you. You don’t know about real loss, because that only occurs when you love something more than you love yourself. I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.

I look at you: I don’t see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared shitless[10] kid. But you’re a genius, Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine and you ripped my fuckin’ life apart.

You’re an orphan, right? Do you think I’d know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist?[11] Does that encapsulate you?

Personally, I don’t give a shit[12] about all that, because you know what? I can’t learn anything from you I can’t read in some fuckin’ book. Unless you wanna talk about you, who you are. And I’m fascinated. I’m in. But you don’t wanna do that, do you, sport[13]? You’re terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief[14].

Now write sentences Now write sentence with the new words and idioms you learned. Post them in the comments if you’d like them to be corrected.

Finally, answer these reaction questions.

How would you react if you were Will?

Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?

What do you think will happen to Will in the future?


[1] A Taster’s Choice moment: Refers to a TV commercial for the coffee Taster’s Choice. In the commercials, people shared nice moments together

[2] You got a thing for swans?: To have a thing for me to be attracted to something.

[3] To devote some time to something: This is a common expression used when describing what a patient and a psychologist discuss. Will is using it to suggest that he is the psychologist and Sean is the patient.

[4] Why thank you…It’s all right: Will is being sarcastic. Sean pretends he was serious.

[5] Give me the skinny: To give all the details.

[6] The whole works: Everything

[7] Been laid: To be/get laid means to have sex.

[8] Once more into the breach, dear friends: From Henry V by William Shakespeare. It means to go start fighting again.

[9] Could level you: Could overwhelm you.

[10] Scared shitless: Very scared

[11] Oliver Twist: A book about an orphan by Charles Dickens

[12] I don’t give a shit: I don’t care.

[13] Sport: An affectionate word for a younger man or boy.

[14] Chief: An affectionate word for a friend.

25 Responses to “ “How to listen to this scene: Good Will Hunting”

  1. Dexter says:

    A:Hey~ Look at this sport. I think he likes you~

    B: I don`t give a shit.

    Finally, answer these reaction questions.

    Q:How would you react if you were Will?

    A:If I were in his shoes I will do same react

    Q:Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?

    A:Defently he is good psychologist becasue

    he always care about patient mind tryly.

    Q:What do you think will happen to Will in the future?

    A:I think he will realize about his falut

    and he will chage be a good guy.

    • 김여진 says:

      How would you react if you were Will?
      I would realize my mistake so i feel shy to say about psychologist’s wife.

      Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
      I thought he is a good psychologist because he didn’t give up will, and illustrated to him like a real friend.

      What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
      He fellt his mistake and fault. so he can change to a good person.
      new word and idiom
      fascinate, dare, cocky, rip, encapsulate, syiiabus, sonnet, vulnerable, faintest, aspiration,orientation, pope, fall into,You got a thing for swans,

  2. Thanks for the comments, guys:) Jeremy

  3. Lee In Yeong says:

    1.How would you react if you were Will?
    : I don’t give a shit about that because I can’t learn anything life. my feeling might have reprimanded myself for such a choice.
    Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    : I thought he is a good psychologist because he didn’t loose hope,he hold the will’s hand.He is very thoughtful, discreet,person.
    What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    : He will get back kind person in no time, because He found that he was mistaken.

    “idiom and new word”
    : political aspiration, encapsulte, occurred, syllabus,

  4. Kim So yeong says:

    Q:How would you react if you were Will?
    A:If I were in his shoes, I would just stay there for a while like Will, feel sorry to Sean and think about my life intently.

    Q:Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A:I think he is a great psychologist because he treated Will truly and tried to let him find what he really wants.

    Q:What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A:I think he will realize his fault and change his thought. And finally he’ll find his real life.

    new words or idioms
    syllabus, cocky, rip, orphan, encapsulate

  5. Yoon So Ra says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were in his shoes, I would do same as Will.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? why/why not?
    A : I think his is a good psychologist because he tells to Will sincerely.

    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : I think he will realize his fault.

  6. Yoon So Ra says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were in his shoes, I would do same as Will.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? why/why not?
    A : I think his is a good psychologist because he tells to Will sincerely.

    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : I think he will realize his fault.

    New words or idioms.
    aspirations, quote, encapsulate

  7. Eun-hye Shim says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were Will, I’d feel shy about myself not being humble.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? why/why not?
    A : In my opinion, he is awsome because he moved Will’s mind telling truly and directly.

    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : I think he will realize his mistake then try to be a good man being humble to erase his poor past.

  8. Kang Suk Jo says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I wefe Will, I’d think about myself to understand sincere “I”

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? why/wht not?
    A : he is good pschologist because I think the best way to change person is conversation

    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : I think he will be a psychologist to give his hand to everybody

  9. Kim Jeong Wook says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were in his shoes, I’d stay there.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A : I think he is awesome because he tell the truth.

    Q: What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : I think he will realize his mistake.

  10. Kim Jeong Wook says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were in his shoes, I’d stay there.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A : I think he is awesome because he tell the truth.

    Q: What do you think will happen to Will in the future?

  11. Min Su Kim says:

    Q:How would you react if you were will?
    A:If i were in his shoes, I’d take his advice which is necessary and considerately says about me in regard to my blemish
    Q:Do you think sean is a good psycologist? why/why not?
    A:Yes, he is. because there is no hypocritical intent and behavior in what he are judging or suggesting. he jsut profoundly or accurately penetrates what’s something wrong of how he feels and his life is, and then shows him somewhat an exemplary answer of the subsequent life that he lives in
    Q:What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A:I think He’ll be conscious of how he’ve lived and felt until now, and show a good look greatly changed. He is genius!!! Nobody denies it ~~~~

  12. Matt Kim says:

    Although he confess his love to me, I don’t give a shit.

  13. Lee yoon ha says:

    7.Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were Will, I will try to change my life through the conversation.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? why/why not?
    A : Frankly, it is difficult to point out human’s negative thing, but Sean did it so I think he is a good psychologist.
    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A ; I think he will change his habit, and live for others.

    New word

    cocky, encapsulate. syllabus, faintest, pope

  14. Kim Jin Kyu says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were will, I would try to change a wrong thought through the conversation with him.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A : I think he is a good psychologist because he tell the truth and make his thoughts known to Sean.

    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : I think he’ ll try to change of his thought and live a new life.

    New words or idioms

    aspiration, vulnerable, gasp, encapsulate

    • Park Sea Hun says:

      Q : How would you react if you were Will?
      A : If I were will, I would do same as well. I can’t try change my mind, well.

      Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
      A : I think he is great psychologist. because he tell the truth and his tell the persuasion.

      Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
      A : I think he will try change his mind and his thought. And his will enjoy good life.

  15. Lee Eun-ji says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were Will, I would look back upon my life and realize my mistakes.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A : I think Sean is a good psychologist because he treated Will heartily. When I was watching the scene, I felt all the things what he had said to Will are sincere.

    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : Will may reflect on his conduct and try to live for his new life. He may also become a good psychologist like Sean. Will’ll say what Sean said to him to other people.

    • Lee Eun-ji says:

      New words or idioms

      – fetish

      – faintest

      – cocky

      – shitless

      – encapsulate

      – pope

  16. Kim jiyun says:

    Q: How would you react if you were Will?
    A: If I were Will, I would thnk back to fault earnestly and think of future
    Q: Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A: I think he is a good psychologist because he deals with Will’s problem seriously
    Q: What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A: He’ll live better than the past

    new words or idioms
    aspiration, fetish, encapsulate

  17. Oh Kyung Taek says:

    Q : How would you react if you were Will?
    A : If I were him, I will try to change my life through conversations.

    Q : Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A : I think he is a great psychologist because he changed him with only conversation.

    Q : What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A : I think he will try to change his life that he has lived until now.

    New word

    aspirations, gasp, vulnerable, depths, encapsulate.

  18. Nam sookyung says:

    Q: how would you react if you were will?
    A: If I were in his shoes, I would do same as Will.

    Q: Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    A: I think he is a great psychologist because he treated Will truly and tried to let him find what he really wants.

    Q: What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    A: I think he will realize his fault and change his thought. And finally he’ll find his real life.

    idiom and new word
    : encapsulte, syllabus, rip, orphan

  19. Sim Ki-young says:

    How would you react if you were Will?
    – If I were Will, I would talk with many people and change my thinking.

    Do you think Sean is a good psychologist? Why/Why not?
    -I think Sean is good psychologist because he listen Will’s thinking then Will is feeling better.
    So Sean is good psychologist.

    What do you think will happen to Will in the future?
    -I think he will change his all things and he’ll become happy.

    New idiom
    political aspiration, quote,vulnerable, cocky

  20. Min A CHeon says:

    Q: how would you react if you were will?
    A: if i were in his shoes, i would do sam as will.
    Q: Do you think sen is good psychonologist? Why/ why not?
    A: I think he is a psycholigist
    Q: What do you think will happen to Will int future
    A: i think he will reealize

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