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 New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim follows Al Gore on the lecture circuit, as the former presidential candidate campaigns to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and calls for immediate action to curb its destructive effects on the environment.
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
Jean François Heckel,
Biopic of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf. Raised by her grandmother in a brothel, she was discovered while singing on a street corner at the age of 19. Despite her success, Piaf's life was filled with tragedy.
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 (email@example.com)
Amin had several British doctors in real life, but not a Scottish one. The character Dr. Nicholas Garrigan is loosely based on Bob Astles, a British soldier and diplomat who was one of Amin's confidants, but who fell out of favor with him, and was temporarily sent to Makindye Prison, one of Uganda's most brutal prisons. See more »
Large, glass-fronted office buildings are visible in the background of some Kampala street scenes. They didn't exist in the 1970s, when the film was set. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. A true tour de force by Forest Whitaker ... the best performance of the year so far! Somehow Mr. Whitaker captures the madness and charm of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. Amin was one of the first political rock stars. He used the media to his advantage as his regime slaughtered hundreds of thousands of his countrymen.
Also impressive is James McAvoy ("Chronicles of Narnia") who plays the dramatized Nicholas Garrigan, a young doctor who sets out on an adventure to make a difference in a small country and ends up counseling one of the most powerful madmen in history. Scottish documentarian Kevin Macdonald directs the film with only a few lapses in directness, which serve this biopic very well. Watching Amin and the young doctor immerse themselves in the shower of power is both frightening and sickening. Macdonald captures this spirit very well thanks mostly to his willingness to let his two leads do their thing.
As Amin laughs and tells Garrigan that "You are my closest adviser", I couldn't help but compare to Kathy Bates telling James Caan (in "Misery") that "I'm your number one fan". The evil and insanity is simply chilling. Whitaker is just amazing as he flips the switch from media darling to cold blooded, ruthless murderer ... and then back again. Just a terrific performance and well worth the price of admission - maybe a couple of times! Good for a laugh is the most unique version of Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobby McGee" that you have ever heard ... guaranteed! See this one for a bit of history and the site of a real monster, but also for one of the best film performances ever.
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