Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Author(s): Ryne
Location: Portland, OR


Directed by Taylor Hackford
Written by Frank Darabont
Music by Hans Zimmer

Principal Cast:

Terrence Howard (Martin Luther King Jr.)
Kerry Washington (Coretta Scott King)
Laurence Fishburne (Martin Luther King Sr)
Matt Damon (John F. Kennedy)
Ryan Phillippe (Robert Kennedy)
David Strathairn (Lyndon B. Johnson)
Chris “Ludacris” Bridges (Jesse Jackson)
Jim Caviezel (Cameo as James Earl Ray)

Tagline: “He Had A Family, He Had Secrets, But Most Of All He Had A Dream”

Synopsis: This movie chronicles the life andassassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In theearly years, we find a young Dr. King (Howard) at hiscollege graduation getting his doctorate from Boston University with his father, Martin Sr. (Fishburne) andnew wife, Coretta (Washington) in the seating section.After his graduation, Martin Luther King Jr. andCoretta Scott King move to segregated Montgomery, Alabama where Martin has accepted a pastoral job atDexter Avenue Baptist Church. While preaching, Dr.King learns of the struggles that the “Negro”community face in Montgomery. In 1955, Dr. Kingdecides to lead the Montgomery bus boycott despiteCoretta’s desperate pleas to leave the South toprotect their children. The rest of “MLK” follows Dr.King’s rigorous journey towards Civil Rights includingspeculation of Dr. King committing adultery on hiswife, the bombing of his house in Montgomery, his “IHave A Dream” speech and ultimately his assassinationon April 4th, 1968 by James Earl Ray (Caviezel).

What the press would say:

Taylor Hackford (Ray)directs a marvelous ensemble cast, which takes thismovie from being just another biopic to one of themost powerful movies of the decade. Terrence Howard ( Hustle and Flow, Crash) and Kerry Washington (Ray,Last King of Scotland) give masterful performances asMr. and Mrs. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. TerrenceHoward gives a commanding performance, which shows usanother astonishing dimension of his acting repertoire. His ability to convey Dr. King’s subtlefrustration while also maintaining his tranquility leaves even this critic speechless. The most powerful piece of Howard’s performance takes place during Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Howard reiterates thespeech with such power and perfection that it becomes one of the most powerful scenes in cinematic history. Howard’s performance screams “Oscar!” and I believe it should be honored with a nomination if not an Oscar victory. Overshadowed by Howard’s spectacular performance is the performance of his counterpart Kerry Washington. Washington has no fears to show us the flaws that take place in the King family. She makes us believe Coretta deserves better while in the back of our mind we know her and Dr. King are meant for each other. David Strathairn once again does not just act, he becomes his character, he becomes Lyndon B. Johnson. His performance I believe is better than that in “Good Night, and, Good Luck.” Strathairn makes this old critic believe he is back in the 60s watching President Johnson address the country after Dr. King had been assassinated. Overall, “MLK” is one of the best ensembles I have ever seen. Hackford asks his actors to give all they have and every single one of them answers his call. Terrence Howard and Kerry Washington work together so well that if there was a “Best Screen Duo” award, they would win hands down. 4 1/2 oranges out of 5

For Your Consideration:
Best Picture
Best Director: Taylor Hackford
Best Actor: Terrence Howard
Best Actress: Kerry Washington
Best Supporting Actor: David Strathairn
Best Supporting Actor: Chris “Ludacris” Bridges
Best Screenplay

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