Films & Schedules

  • Flash of Genius

  • Marc Abraham

119 minutes

Production Company:
Spyglass Entertainment/Strike Entertainment
Executive Producer:
Jonathan Glickman, J. Miles Dale, Thomas A. Bliss, Eric Newman
Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Michael Lieber
Philip Railsback
Production Designer:
Hugo Lucyzc-Wyhowski
Dante Spinotti
Jill Savitt
Jon Taylor, Chris Minkler
Aaron Zigman
Principal Cast: Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Dermot Mulroney, Alan Alda

Canadian Distributor:
Universal Films Canada
US Distributor:
Universal Pictures

Sunday September 0702:30PM VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Tuesday September 0909:00AM RYERSON Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Thursday September 1109:45PM SCOTIABANK THEATRE 1 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

What do you do when one of the largest corporations in the world steals your greatest idea? For one man, the answer is simple: you spend your life fighting the people who took it from you, and do not quit until the company publicly apologizes for ripping off your invention.

Marking the feature-filmmaking debut of long-time producer and executive producer Marc Abraham (Children of Men, The Hurricane), Flash of Genius is based on a compelling New Yorker article by John Seabrook. The story concerns university professor Robert Kearns (played with aplomb by Greg Kinnear), inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper. His simple but revolutionary creation was stolen by Detroit automakers, and has subsequently been installed in nearly every automobile to this day. Robert is determined to sue the Ford Motor Company, and as his frustrated obsession gradually increases, it causes a major strain on his wife, Phyllis (Lauren Graham), and their many children. With the aid of his friend and partner Gil (Dermot Mulroney) and his shark lawyer (the consistently sensational Alan Alda), Kearns comes closer and closer to a lucrative settlement. However, his determination to gain recognition for his brilliant idea constantly gets in the way of his relationships with his lawyer and spouse. Following a nervous breakdown, unemployment and a separation from Phyllis, Robert grows increasingly fixated on the lawsuit, until one day, after declining numerous settlement proposals, he finally gets his opportunity to take the bigwigs to court and achieve the credit he feels is his due.

Flash of Genius features exquisite photography that evokes a retro sensibility, rich performances from Kinnear, Graham, Mulroney and Alda, and a fantastic script that makes the seemingly modest subject matter feel as significant and profound as any high-profile lawsuit in American history. The result is a thought-provoking, hugely rewarding film that deals with life's endless back-and-forths, examining what they do to a brilliant, seemingly well-adjusted professor, husband and father.

Michèle Maheux

Marc Abraham is an American producer turned director. His producing credits include Spy Game (01),The Rundown (03), Dawn of the Dead (04) and Children of Men (06). He served as executive producer on the films Air Force One (97), End of Days (99) and The Hurricane (99). Flash of Genius (08) is his directorial debut.

Cadillac People's Choice Award