Denzel: My True Friend

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The film generally follows the plot of the novel. However, the book proceeds in a linear fashion while the movie is explained through various flashbacks. Antwone Fisher explains in his novel Finding Fish , that he took a free screenwriting class at Bethel A. Church after a chance encounter with a limo driver.


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The class was taught by Chris Smith, who delivered an introduction to a producer named Todd Black. Fisher wrote 41 drafts until the script was sold by Black to 20th Century Fox , who ultimately released it under their Fox Searchlight Pictures banner. The film marks the directorial debut of Denzel Washington, the first screenwriting credit for Antwone Fisher, and the first feature film-role for Derek Luke.

Washington was brought the script originally just to play the part of Jerome Davenport. Fisher had known Luke as a young actor working at the Sony Pictures gift shop while he was writing the screenplay. Fisher encouraged Luke to try out for the part. An audition with casting director Robi Reed-Humes went well enough that Luke was called in to meet with Washington. Washington aware that he was working with an unknown stated that he wanted to give a younger generation of black actors their chance to come alive on-screen.

Inspired by the story of a man who found hope and love through the help of an outstretched hand. In turn, the filmmakers sought to give back to the communities that supported them during the shoot. In the Cleveland neighborhood where the scenes of Fisher's youth and homecoming were shot, the filmmakers went out of their way to leave the urban area and its people in a better place than when they arrived. Members of the community were hired to work on the production or as part of its preparation, and always Washington was out and about meeting people, shaking hands and offering thanks for their help.

Angelou pointed out poetry as a way to pull ourselves from suffering and thus gave Fisher the push to create his book.

Fisher states in the Foreword section that no one had ever told him to write poetry but that he just did it for pleasure. He states. Fisher says he drew the strength to write from his fellow sailors and wrote poems for them when they requested.


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  • But Fisher gives a special acknowledgement to Blue, a prisoner at Terminal Island where Fisher worked as a prison guard, for his inspiration to enroll his poems in a poetry contest. Blassingame and referenced in the film, was one of the first historical studies of slavery in the United States. The book contradicted others who suggested that African American slaves were in large-part submissive. Blassingame used psychology to determine the mentality developed by slaves during the era and possibly passed on to generations after.

    Davenport suggests that Antwone read the book to understand why Mrs.

    Tate abused him. Davenport does not intend to justify her actions, but he seeks to help Antwone understand where her mentality of beatings and verbal abuse to keep the foster children subservient came from. Antwone is seen briefly reading the book in the next scene. When I saw the film for the first time, I was overwhelmed by a mixture of feelings: fear, joy, pride and satisfaction—all of which still linger, and I am certain they will for the rest of my life.

    I hope others, too, walk away with those same feelings and the courage to do something to better the lives of children in general.

    Denzel Washington: 'I don't have any actor friends'

    I hope that after seeing the movie and reading my memoir that people will see that every child has value and boundless potential and that even if all one has to give is an encouraging word as a genuine gesture of care. Praise was given especially towards Washington's directing and Luke's performance. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Antwone Fisher Theatrical release poster. Further information: Finding Fish. Further information: The Slave Community. American Film Institute.

    Retrieved December 13, Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 2, Retrieved Film portal. Films by Denzel Washington. Awards for Antwone Fisher. Black Reel Award for Outstanding Film. Categories : films English-language films s biographical drama films African-American biographical dramas American films American biographical films American coming-of-age films American romantic drama films African-American films Films about child abuse Films about child sexual abuse Drama films based on actual events Films based on biographies Films about the United States Navy Works about adoption Directorial debut films Films directed by Denzel Washington Films set in Cleveland Films shot in Cleveland 20th Century Fox films Fox Searchlight Pictures films Films produced by Denzel Washington Films scored by Mychael Danna.

    Hidden categories: All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from August This is as groaning a comedy as it sounds. Even though Washington is as graceful as always, and funnier than usual, you occasionally can catch a peek of him glancing offscreen, knowing better things are coming and eager to get out of this. He made two Spike Lee movies in the next years. Take a guess. Washington makes some speeches, we learn Something Has to Be Done, and the movie has the narrative propulsion of a morgue.

    These sorts of movies never dates well, but this one is particularly moldy. It was supposed to set off a series of films about this detective team. It did not.

    Vance, two decades before he played Johnny Cochran and his good-hearted wife Whitney Houston. The movie sets up a love triangle but never really follows through on it: It mostly just wants to give Houston opportunities to sing. She does so, singing like only Whitney Houston could, and viewers end up unchallenged and completely unable to recollect anything else that happened in the movie. As the leader of a ragtag group of hombres out to defend a helpless community from a violent sociopath Peter Sarsgaard , Denzel shoots for the strong, silent type but winds up somewhere between dull and bored.

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    This is even more troubling in a sluggish remake that has a tough time justifying its existence in the first place. A remake of the subway-hijack thriller is inferior in just about every way, particularly with its villain, played by a way-too-jacked-up John Travolta. Another one of those Se7en knockoffs Washington found himself in, this is among the sillier entries, with a serial-killer mystery that ends up involving Hell itself. A perfectly fine remake that features a perfectly fine performance from Washington as a former soldier who starts to think that he and his buddies including Liev Schreiber were brainwashed for nefarious purposes.

    Denzel takes on an English accent as Reuben, a former British soldier who returns home after several years of fighting only to discover that his country sees him less as a war hero and more as a black man during Thatcherism. After a series of setbacks and confrontations with a system stacked against him, Reuben strikes back at the police and government that forgot him. And yes: He nails the accent. The film has that Scott-ian sleekness but is really directed by Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa in his Hollywood debut , and Washington rules with his super-chill cockiness.

    This is a daunting role — that of an uptight lawyer confronting his own homophobia while defending a gay man Tom Hanks — but Washington does a fine job transforming the character from a life-lesson surrogate for the audience into a person with actual dimensions. Washington plays Melvin Tolson, the debate coach at Wiley College who puts together a team — including The Birth of a Nation filmmaker and star Nate Parker, in an early role — that eventually takes on Harvard.

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    This mostly forgotten Sidney Lumet film attempts to be a Big Statement about the Way We Live Now, but mostly it gets caught up in plot mechanics and actorly indulgence. Washington reunited with Glory director Edward Zwick to make this Gulf War drama, in which a lieutenant colonel Washington haunted by a mistake he made in the field must investigate whether a female soldier Meg Ryan should receive the Medal of Honor for her heroism. Few actors make self-torture feel like a kind of heroism. But give it another glance. Directed by Carl Franklin, Out of Time is a dark, funny, sexy offering about an alcoholic Florida cop who stumbles into a series of messes and has to maneuver himself out.

    Yeah, Remember the Titans is hokey, but when you have somebody so damn compelling in the lead role, who cares?