WHEN THE NATION WAS IN NEED, HE INSPIRED THEM TO GIVE US HOPE.
In 1935, a teacher and clandestine union organizer (Denzel Washington) coaches an all-black debate team, hoping one day to take on a prestigious white university. Washington’s second directorial effort goes along the lines of his first, Antwone Fisher (2002) – the story is based on reality, and told in a solid but not terribly remarkable way, with outstanding actors. Close to greatness, but never quite there; it’s just a little too smooth. Still, Washington knows which buttons to push; several scenes are powerful, not least thanks to Jurnee Smollett’s performance as one of the students.
2007-U.S. 123 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Denzel Washington. Cast: Denzel Washington (Melvin B. Tolson), Nate Parker (Henry Lowe), Jurnee Smollett (Samantha Booke), Denzel Whitaker, Jermaine Williams, Forest Whitaker.
Trivia: Co-produced by Oprah Winfrey.