oscar rodeo: the last king of scotland


The second-to-last contender in the Oscar Rodeo is The Last King of Scotland, starring 2007 Best Actor winner Forest Whitaker.

I'm glad he's going to win, because I have always liked Whitaker, ever since I saw The Crying Game back when I was 12. My dad offered to take me to three of the five Best Picture nominees, and to my mother's horror, I chose The Crying Game. Afterward, I was surprised that Jaye Davidson had received the Oscar nomination for that film, and not Whitaker. Later, I enjoyed his work in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Smoke, and Ghost Dog. He directs movies, he sings opera, and he's a black belt in karate.

Aside from his performance, here are some things that Whitaker did to prepare for his role that had Oscar swooning. He gained fifty pounds. He learned Swahili. He taught himself to play the accordion. He never broke character during the entire shoot, so as not to lose his carefully honed accent. After he arrived in Uganda, he refused to associate with anyone but the African extras. Basically, this is insane behavior, but it's why Oscar is CRAZY for Whitaker this year.

While Whitaker was amazing, I didn't like this film much overall. Whenever Idi Amin was on screen, the movie was captivating. Unfortunately, the main character is a Scottish doctor, and he's a huge asshole. The final 40% of the movie concerns his attempted escape from Uganda, but it's hard to root for him. He doesn't have a clever plan, and he really only wants to flee out of an instinct for self-preservation. I think Whitaker is so good, the movie is still worth seeing, but maybe don't bother to do so in the theater.

Side note for Bin Lloyden: Amin assures the Scotsman that in Uganda, they find red hair "quite disgusting."


Wait, are you serious about Forest Whitaker's preparations for the movie? I wouldn't be surprised.

I just saw him accept his award and I was really struck by the fact that a hideous man from South Central LA could win an Oscar. And it was talent, no less--not pity--that won it for him. Kinda beautiful, really.

You know, for all the complaints about this movie centering on a white dude spending a lot of the movie trying to get the hell out of the movie, I actually think there's real potential for that story--the hypocrisy of low commitment altruism and even low commitment selling out. Obviously that's not what they went for here.

They should do one of those edits like they did for "The Phantom Menace" where Jar-Jar Binks was cut out. But without the Scot, the movie would probably fall apart narratively. Maybe, though, if you put the Idi Amin scenes where the Jar-Jar Binks scenes were in "The Phantom Menace"...

"Ghost Dog" rules.

porn title: "The Lasting of Scott's Glans"

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on February 25, 2007 3:55 PM.

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