A Student of History

January 29, 2007

Movie recommendation

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 7:52 pm

I rarely go to the movies since I started grad school (due to time and money limitations) but a friend of mine suggested we go see The Last King of Scotland, now that it has been re-released for a limited time in anticipation of the Oscars.  It came out last year, had a very limited run here in Ohio, and I could not get to it.

I am very glad I went last week, however, as it was one of the best films I have ever seen.  I highly recommend it.  It is based on a 1998 book of the same name by Giles Foden, and is not strictly factual in that sense.  What this means is that there is a character in the movie who we follow in order to see the events of Uganda under Idi Amin, but he’s not actually true to the events. No matter, its an artisitic device that works very, very well, as one sees from the beginning of the film.  The fictional protagonist is the young Nicholas Garrigan, a Scotish doctor out to save the world after graduating from medical school, and gets quickly in over his naive head in Amin’s regime.  He is played very well by James McAvoy, who also has a role in the upcoming film based upon Ian McEwan’s awesome book Atonement. (The female lead is played by Keira Knightly.)

Anyway, the show stealer in TLKoS is by far Forrest Whitaker, who plays Amin flawlessly, and should win every award known to mankind for making this character study absolutely first rate.  he’s already won a Golden Globe for the role.  I found his performance to be spell-binding, along the lines of Robert Duvall in The Apostle (for which he was robbed of the best actor Oscar, but that is another story.)  Both main characters were just plain great, and I also liked how they filmed it in a grainy film to make it look at times like 1970s footage, since the story took place at that time (through Entebe.) 

If you have not seen The Last King of Scotland, you really should…..

1 Comment »

  1. Dear Sir ,
    I also viewed the film several months ago and found it to be riveting . Comforting to see a film of value and intelligence can still be constructed.
    Cordially ,
    David Corbett

    Comment by David Corbett — January 30, 2007 @ 3:10 am | Reply

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