The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
In the early 1970s, Nicholas Garrigan, a young semi-idealistic Scottish doctor, comes to Uganda to assist in a rural hospital. Once there, he soon meets up with the new President, Idi Amin, who promises a golden age for the African nation. Garrigan hits it off immediately with the rabid Scotland fan, who soon offers him a senior position in the national health department and becomes one of Amin's closest advisers. However as the years pass, Garrigan cannot help but notice Amin's increasingly erratic behavior that grows beyond a legitimate fear of assassination into a murderous insanity that is driving Uganda into bloody ruin. Realizing his dire situation with the lunatic leader unwilling to let him go home, Garrigan must make some crucial decisions that could mean his death if the despot finds out. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director Kevin Macdonald and his producers met Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni to get permission to film in Uganda. "He really responded to the idea that we wanted to make a film about Ugandan history in the same way that everybody we met responded," recalls Macdonald. "They wanted this story to be told. They didn't feel prejudiced against us because we were foreigners wanting to tell their story - they were very generous, and the president gave us carte blanche and even allowed us to film in the parliament building while parliament was in session. We also had the co-operation of the army and we were allowed to close down the main street in the city." See more »
In the opening scene the call of a Red-Winged Blackbird can be clearly heard when the students jump off the dock. Red-Winged Blackbirds are new world birds and are non-native to Scotland. See more »
I like movies based on real people in history. Because of the Oscar buzz surrounding Forest Whitaker now, I knew this movie is about Idi Amin. This is of course a familiar name in my childhood (asked in General Information contests), but I don't really know much about him, except that he was a dictator.
This film has a documentary feel to it. It is really very realistic, even if upon reading background info that the Dr. Garrigan character is fictional. Even though granted that the Idi Amin regime was compressed into a coherent Hollywood storyline, it does not feel contrived. The final sequence of events at the Entebbe Airport was very suspenseful indeed.
Idi Amin was not really the lead character in this movie. It is actually Dr. Nicholas Garrigan. Being a physician, I could not help but be able to identify with his situation and dilemmas. Would you accept to be the personal physician of a country's president upon his personal request? It seems to be an offer and career opportunity you could not refuse.
There is sex and violence in this movie. I could not agree though with Dr. Garrigan's rashness regarding his love affairs, particularly his morals of hooking up with wives of his supposed friends. But considering that this movie is set in the 1970s, that was a totally different world pre-HIV. The violence, what can I say? After watching one violent film after the other, you get sort of anesthetized already. That said, the scene with hooks at the airport was still something else! The acting is very good. Forest Whitaker has channeled the Idi Amin persona very effectively. I could feel the scary and suffocating craziness whenever he is on screen. There's something about this performance being based on a real character though. I think it would be harder to essay a totally fictional character since you have to create this new character from scratch. And I feel James McAvoy (who was actually Mr. Tumnus in "Narnia"!) did so very well as Dr. Garrigan. You dislike him, yet you can empathize the stickiness of his situation.
Before I end this review, I have to mention that I was very happy to see the luminous Ms. Gillian Anderson again. I totally did not know she was in this film and it was a welcome surprise. She handled her few scenes as the wife of a volunteer doctor very well indeed. I hope she gets meatier movie roles in the future.
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