A drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school's first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.
A sailor prone to violent outbursts is sent to a naval psychiatrist for help. Refusing at first to open up, the young man eventually breaks down and reveals a horrific childhood. Through the guidance of his doctor, he confronts his painful past and begins a quest to find the family he never knew. Written by
Derek Luke was working at the Sony Studios gift shop when he met Antwone Fisher who was working on the lot as a security guard. When Fisher's screenplay was bought by Fox Searchlight, Luke asked Fisher for a copy of the script. He went to the casting director unannounced and asked to audition. He has since admitted "I was so terrible I started crying" but Luke was invited to audition again. Denzel Washington came to the gift shop to tell Luke that he got the part. See more »
When Davenport has a session with Antwone at his home, virtually all the props behind Davenport have minds of their own, including: the small dark table the fruit sits on, the lamp, a long table, which first is off to Davenport's rear-left with the lamp and some folders on it, then directly behind Davenport. Later, the folders move to Davenport's rear-right. Also, when Antwone first sits down he's holding his glass of cider but it suddenly appears on the desk in the very next shot. We would have seen him set it there because the scene has no breaks in it. The level of liquid seems to vary incorrectly in some shots. See more »
Thanks to Commander, Navy Region Southwest; Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; Navy ships USS Tarawa (LHA-1), USS Belleauwood (LHA-3), USS Nimitz (CVN-68), USS Constellation (CV-64) USS Peleliu (LHA-5). See more »
A classic `grab at your heart' story about a troubled young man's life and search for happiness.
The protagonist, Antwone Fisher is played by the up and coming young actor, Derek Luke. Luke is a young sailor, filled with rage, easily provoked, and often unable to control his emotional outbursts. His temper soon earns him several mandatory sessions with a naval psychiatrist; played by Denzel Washington (he also directed the film). Early on, their personalities clash, but eventually Washington unlocks the two sources of Luke's anger-an abusive childhood and a pervading fear of being abandoned.
The film takes us on a journey of Luke's life, one marked by periods of intense loneliness and sadness while being driven by a constant search (an obsession) for family. It is through Luke's life that we learn that perseverance can carry us through the periods of darkness and eventually deliver some form of happiness
By counseling and befriending Luke, Washington enables him to deal with his lifelong sadness and move on. When the film wants to grab at your heart, it succeeds with good writing and convincing performances by Luke and Washington. In a graphic abuse scene from Luke's childhood, Washington artistically and gutterly insures that we not only empathize with Antwone, we personally experience his helplessness. This scene, which showcases Washington's directorial skill, places Luke in a full frontal position, trembling, with the whites of his eyes looking directly at the camera (the viewer). Anyone watching the screen can't help but be mesmerized by the abject fear in Luke's eyes.
As the film progresses, Washington, the director, introduces two minor twists to the plot. The first highlights Luke's reluctance to trust as he begins dating for the first time. This sub-point is purposeful and displays the infinite lingering effects of Luke's childhood on his adulthood. The second involves martial (family) problems within the psychiatrist's life which, while ironic, is never developed.
Much like his performance as a compassionate lawyer in Philadelphia, Denzel Washington's screen presence in Antwone Fisher commands our attention and emotions, leaving few dry eyes in the theater. This film's writing, direction and acting exposes our souls and grabs our hearts.
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