There are traces of the Van Sant of earlier, more personal or eclectic endeavours here, but only traces. He brings to the film moments of real naturalism, the great cinematography of Jean-Yves Escoffier & a handful of brilliant Elliott Smith songs (which often do a better job of expressing the themes & emotions of the film than the acting or dialog). Williams is excellent in one of his standard dramatic performances.
A awesome film and great screenplay by Affleck and Damon. Deserving of all of its accolades. The monologues are worth memorizing. Affleck as an actor has never been better and Williams likewise turns in a sensitive and moderated performance.
I thought Robin Williams' character was quite original and he gave a great performance as did Damon but aside from that and the great ending, most of the film is only solid and doesn't reach the level of greatness I had hoped. EDIT: Rewatched it. Really good film.