Forrest Whitaker reigns as Last King of Scotland

Film, Movies | | February 4, 2007 at 11:22

I’ve been a fan of Forrest Whitaker for years and have always thought that the guy was one of the most talented actors around. But with a face and body like his, it’s hard to get leading roles. Did you see him in "Ghostdog: The Way of the Samurai?" Must-see movie and peformance.

The buzz is that he will take the Oscar home for Last King of Scotland and we certainly are praying to the Universe that he does, cause he sure deserves it. His portrayal of the nasty, insane, wildly charismatic Ugandan (Africa) dictator Idi Amin is nothing short of mesmerizing. Once in a while, an actor takes on one of these real-live people roles and totally convinces you that the person has come to life on the screen. Remember Ben Kingsley in Ghandi or Jamie Foxx as Ray? The rest of the cast is also strong in this gripping story of a young and foolish Scottish doctor who opts for the trimmings of power and gets dangerously entangled in the web. The protagonist and true lead of the film is James McAvoy who is first-rate.

Odd how people get nominated. I understand the filmmakers submit names for categories, cause even though Forrest is beyond good and dominates the film as Idi Amin dominated Uganda, it’s not all the clear that it is the lead role. I don’t think you have to have lived in Africa to get this movie, but I have lived there, and it certainly captures the essence of what is happening on that continent. You might say – "another one of those films about Africa where a bunch of black guys are getting killed for no reason?" – and you might be touching the edge of truth.

But the real truth is that films like Tears of the Sun, Hotel Rwanda, Constant Gardener, Blood Diamond, Last King of Scotland are telling a repeating story that moves from one country of Africa to another, and is certainly going on right now, somewhere on that continent – Darfur, anyone? I read that these films are criticized for accuracy and realism, but from my experience of six years there, artistic license hasn’t depicted anything out of the realm of possibility. Showing at theaters now.