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Antwone Fisher (2002)


6/10: A nice uplifting story but it's all played out a little too safely
Monday, March 20, 2017

Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke) is a navy officer with a short fuse who finds himself being referred to the navy doctor Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington). At first, Fisher is standoffish and unwilling to open up to Davenport, but Davenport persists with the young officer and eventually Fisher does begin to try to explain some of the reasons for his behaviour. Davenport soon learns that Fisher had a troublesome childhood whilst he was growing up with his foster mother and Davenport believes that it may help Fisher's emotional psyche if he were to try and find his mother and make attempts to reconnect with his family.This is actually a nice story and from a narrative point of view it is very well-constructed and structured; essentially we'll witness something happening to Fisher that lands him in trouble and then we get flashbacks from his childhood which establishes motives for his behaviour in later life. The film uses this...

7/10: A director is born
Thursday, August 28, 2003

Not having seen the film in the original theater release, I was happily surprised when the DVD arrived, since this film did not have the wide distribution it merited.Denzel Washington directorial debut and the finished product have nothing to envy other films about the same theme by more accomplished directors. The film has a very professional look. It shows that Mr. Washington has learned a lot being on the other side of the camera. He brings a different angle to this film.One of the best things the film has is, without a doubt, the fine performance by Derek Luke. He is an actor who, with the right guidance, will go far, no doubt. His take on the troubled young man, at this point of his life, in turmoil and suffering for a bad hand life, up to now, has dealt him, is very true. His Antwone is a fine portrait of a man in pain who is basically...

6/10: Slow-Paced But Worth Sticking With
Monday, August 4, 2003

Based on a true story, and with a screenplay written by the real Antwone Fisher (who had never before written a screenplay), this movie is also Denzel Washington's first outing as a director, and Derek Luke's first starring role as Antwone. All these firsts made this a movie I wanted to see out of curiosity more than anything else, and in the end I was mildly impressed with it, although the movie is definitely not without its flaws.In particular, the first hour or so of the movie is very slowly paced. At times, it was tempting to turn away, but there was enough of interest that kept popping up to make me stick with it. In the end, this turned into an interesting enough journey of self-discovery, as we delve more and more into Antwone's past to try to discover what childhood demons have caused him to grow up into an angry young man. As...

10/10: A moving story for adoptees
Friday, January 17, 2003

I was adopted at birth and certainly did NOT have the problems Antwone fisher had in the movie, but I still share some of the emotions and this movie really helped to bring them out and force me to deal with them. It even caused me to realize that I do have a "missing piece" and I am going to seek out my birthparents now.I cried for almost a day after I saw this the first time. Antwone's confrontation with his birthmother juxtaposed with his father's family's reaction to his sudden appearance are powerful for those of us who don't know what will happen if we find our birth parents. And his self-confidence and self affirmations to his mother and against the abusers of his past were so powerful. I could really identify with this and my need to tell people "yeah, I was put aside by my parents when I was born. BUT...

9/10: who will hear the tears of the boy inside the man
Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Antwone Fisher's story of childhood neglect and abuse is an inspiration to all among us who witnessed or even experienced the plight of foster children. Abandoned by a troubled mother, Antwone has never met his father. Growing up with "church going" abusers who use the "n-word" not only to intimidate and hurt but also as a term of endearment, as a young man witnessing how his best friend is killed in a hold-up, enduring racial slurs and being teased while serving in the Navy, Antwone's anger is slowly turned into positive power when counseled by a Navy psychiatrist, and a love enters his life.The scene where Antwone meets his birth mother is one of the most powerful moments in the film. Stunned by the unexpected confrontation, the woman listens in silence to hear the young man tell her how he has lived a life without crime, addictions to drugs, fathering children left and right, all...

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