Friday, June 22, 2007

The Last King of Scotland...Oscar worthy

The Last King of Scotland - Kevin Macdonald - 2006 - 7/10


Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy) is a Scottish doctor looking for adventure and excitement and chooses Africa as the field of his dreams. He goes to help a clinic in Uganda where he quickly falls for the married Sarah Merrit (Gillian Anderson). He becomes fascinated by the passion of Uganda's new leader, Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). After Garrigan sees Amin speak and Sarah forces him to leave, Garrigan is called to Amin's side to help him after he is in a car accident. Enamored by the fact that Garrigan is Scottish, Amin asks his name and shakes his hand and then begs for Garrigan's Scotland football t-shirt. The next day Garrigan is summoned to Amin's estate and after being wined and dined, agrees to accept Amin's offer to become his personal doctor. Garrigan quickly becomes much more than a doctor, becoming Amin's "friend" and advicser, helping to build a new, independent Uganda. But its not all roses forever as Amin's dark side and hard fisted politics begins to close in around Garrigan.


First, I have to say that Whitaker is GREAT as amin. The clip they showed at the Oscars is AMAZING - "you did tell me, but you did not CONVINCE me." Very nice. McAvoy is great here too - a pleasant suprise considering I didn't know what to expect. Well, I did expect James Purefoy, but James McAvoy is quite different, and quite good. The story moves almost too fast - following the history with some scenes of action without really spinning much of a linear story. I want to see more of [MILD SPOILER...] of McAvoy's relationship with Kerry Washington's character. They clearly have some pretty good chemistry but there's just not enough of their relationship onscreen. Likewise of Gillian Anderson's character. As an aside, this is one of the few times I thought Anderson was attractive. Back on topic, Gillian Anderson's character seems to come and go in relation to the story with little explanation. In the end, Whitaker is AWESOME, McAvoy is solid, the movie is good, but the story is done a disservice.


If its good enough for Oscar, you should check it out.

If you liked this movie, see...
...Catch a Fire
...Blood Diamond
...The Constant Gardener

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