There, he solves a complex mathematical challenge left on a blackboard by the brilliant Professor Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard), who expected the best minds among his students to grapple with the problem all semester.
Intrigued by the mysterious appearance of the solution, Lambeau eventually tracks Will down, meeting him just as the boy is being arraigned for his latest burst of violence. Although Will has always been able to talk his way out of previous charges, this latest incident is about to land him in serious trouble. Lambeau manages to have the boy put in his custody for the final months before Will turns 21; as conditions of his custody, the professor demands that Will spend time with him working on mathematical puzzles and time with a therapist to get at the roots of the boy's violent streak.
Finding a therapist capable of matching such intelligence proves difficult, however. Lambeau is finally forced to call on an old college buddy, Sean McGuire (Robin Williams), "a bit of a screw-up himself, a damaged man, grief-stricken and defensive" (Denby 62). Sean cannot be fooled by Will's glib attempts to outwit him, and the two eventually establish a complicated relationship that helps both men to grow. Maslin writes, "Edgy and sarcastic as he is, Will works overtime to locate the doctor's raw nerves, and the actors play this out passionately" (B10).
At the same time, Will has stumbled into a romance with Skylar (Minnie Driver), a British