Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Last King of Scotland

Kevin MacDonald, 2006 (8.4*)
Told from the point of view of his personal physician from Scotland, played by James McAvoy, this film offers a biopic of the ruling years of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The film becomes an acting tour-de-force for star Forrest Whitaker, earning him 28 awards including an Oscar® for his complex and sympathetic portrait of a charismatic madman. The title comes from Amin claiming to be from Scottish ancestry, and royalty at that, so he could have been king of Scotland (!)

The film includes a realistic version of the events leading to terrorists holding hostages at the Entebbe airport, and the subsequent Israeli raid, which features prominently in the physician's story. Whitaker has won awards for other performances, notably in Clint Eastwood's Bird, but he has never has the part to show his acting skills like this one, which allowed him to pretty much dominate the film.

This is a must-see for fans of historical docudramas or great acting performances. The film won 35 awards overall


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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