"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)"
I've been wondering for the better part of the last twenty wondering when the AFI would get around to giving Denzell Washington their lifetime achievement award. At the beginning, I knew it would be some time. His performances always had such an air of reality about them, that it was tough to catch him acting.... to see those moments when he was not simply being the character, revealing a bit of himself to the audience, instead of acting, stretching himself to portray something other than Denzell Washington in a movie or play that I had never noticed before. Eventually I concluded that, in the words of Walt Whitman, it was all Denzell Washington, and his genius lay not in performance, but in the act of revelation, of digging into the character enough to find the part that was him.
So I knew the day would come when the AFI would be forced to give him this award, and it would be filled with clips of those moments of revelation and brief testimonials from people who knew him and people who thought they knew him and people who didn't know him but admired him because he is handsome and successful and occasionally, because they understand what it is that he does. And that is what this show is.
At the end, the question for me is "And now what do we do?" I see he's going to do the Scottish Play. I will see it, as I have seen all of his movies for the last thirty years. I expect he will be MacBeth in a manner that will be simple, honest, and show us the part of MacBeth that is Denzell Washington. I look forward to it.
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