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The Solution is a 1994 American Drama film written by Ross Klavan and directed by Joel Schumacher starring Max Thieriot, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, Mel Gibson, Keanu Reeves, Ricky Gervais, Penelope Cruz and Alexa Vega.

It concerns the tribulations of an intelligent troubled disabled child and the tribulations of two individuals fighting for his custody.

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards: 1. For Best Picture and 2. For Best Original Screenplay: Ross Klavan.

The film secured two Golden Globes and the Palm D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 1994.


Harley Stearwell (Max Thieriot) is a 5 year old boy beginning school at Middleton Elementary School.

He has Severe Asperger's Syndrome and is vastly intelligent in the department of Numbers, Algebra and almost all other forms of Mathmatics.

His parents are Clarissa (Susan Sarandon) and Samuel Stearwell (Mel Gibson) who are dismissive of the young boy's talents and are bad neglectful guardians.

His talent and raw emotional sensitivity touches the heart of his Maths Teacher Mrs. Caldwell (Meryl Streep) who wishes to adopt the boy upon learning of his homelife.

Her and her English Professor Husband Markus (Ricky Gervais) crown the boy one of the Mathmatically most intelligent boys not only in the school in the state.

As his education spirals on up his homelife spirals on down and he strikes young child love with his Spanish Professor's (Penelope Cruz) 5-year old daughter Marina (Alexa Vega).


  • Max Thieriot as Harley Stearwell
  • Meryl Streep as Professor Gillian Caldwell
  • Susan Sarandon as Clarissa Stearwell
  • Mel Gibson as Samuel Stearwell
  • Ricky Gervais as Professor Markus Caldwell
  • Penelope Cruz as Professor Gineva Fontane
  • Alexa Vega as Marina Fontane
  • Finn Jones as Albert Reincart
  • Robert Sheehan as Terry Bruton
  • Parker Young as Bully Bradley Chartman
  • Andrew Lawrence as Bully Benjamin Churning
  • Nicholas Braun as Badly Bullied Marvin Donovan
  • Woody Harrelson as Principal Porter Pueter
  • Iain Glen as Professor Lincoln Martin
  • Tim Roth as the Crazed Taxi Man
  • Eric Stoltz as Professor Simban Travis
  • Nancy Travis as Specialist Jane Trestle
  • John Corbett as Neighbour Devan
  • Bonnie Hunt as Neighbour Darla
  • Alexander Payne as Science Professor Graham Lectrics


  1. Wild Night- John Mellencamp & Me'Shell Ndegocello
  2. Crazy- Aerosmith
  3. Supersonic- Oasis
  4. Linger- The Cranberries
  5. Come To My Window- Melissa Etheridge
  6. 100% Love- Crystal Waters
  7. Basket Case- Green Day
  8. Here Come The Jotstepper- Ini Kamose
  9. Stay (I Miss You)- Lisa Loeb