In 1989, Hawke made his breakthrough appearance in Peter Weir's Dead Poets Society, playing one of the students taught by Robin Williams's inspirational English teacher. The Variety reviewer noted "Hawke, as the painfully shy Todd, gives a haunting performance. " The film received considerable acclaim, winning the BAFTA Award for Best Film and an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. With revenue of $235 million worldwide, it remains Hawke's most commercially successful picture to date. Hawke later described the opportunities he was offered as a result of the film's success as critical to his decision to continue acting: "I didn't want to be an actor and I went back to college. But then the [film's] success was so monumental that I was getting offers to be in such interesting movies and be in such interesting places, and it seemed silly to pursue anything else. " While filming Dead Poets Society he auditioned for what would be his next film appearance, 1989's comedy drama Dad, where he played Ted Danson's son and Jack Lemmon's grandson.