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The Forest Whittaker Bio

The Forest Whittaker Review –

by Nate Lee


The Last King of Scotland

One could certainly claim that "The Crying Game" or "The Great Debaters" is as fine a film as "The Last King of Scotland." But even though Forest is the catalyst for the action of "Crying," he so thoroughly wears the mantle of the infamous dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin, he deserves most of the credit for its overwhelming critical and popular success – and, of course, the Academy Award.

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
Fragments (survivor of an attack on a restaurant)
Bird (Charlie Parker)
The Last King of Scotland (Idi Amin)
The Great Debaters (a Texas minister and father of a debater)
The Crying Game (a British soldier captured by the IRA)
Phenomenon (John Travolta's friend and sidekick)
Good Morning, Vietnam (Robin Williams's friend and sidekick)
Panic Room (a not-so-bad bad guy)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (a football player)
The Color of Money (a friendly pool shark)
American Gun (a high-school principal)
Phone Booth (a police captain)
Vantage Point (a tourist who videotapes an assassination)
The Real Forest Whittaker:
A tough one, by the very nature of his playing the dual natures (see Acting Style). There's the natural leader of "The Great Debaters," the football player of "Fast Times," the charismatic friend in "Phenomenon" and the musician of "Bird." None of them seems to truly convey the real Forest Whitaker, so we'll just have to keep watching. Perhaps the real Forest, like the real Clint Eastwood, will find his real self behind the camera.
Acting Style:
Forest combines a formidable presence with a soft-spoken, amiable, sometimes childlike demeanor. His best roles, such as his brilliant portrayal of dictator Idi Amin, pit these two polarities in fierce opposition. The audience, like the other characters, never know which will win at any given moment – the massive bull or the smiling sweetheart. Still, though, even when he is playing the villain, he is hard not to like.
Bits and Quirks:
All kinds of stares. The blank stare, usually with the mouth slightly open. An intense, almost psychotic stare. A funky look with the eyes almost closed. Hunching way forward, often into another character. A loose stand with the arms dangling at the side. Various slouches. An awesome, world-opening smile.
Great Scenes:
The Last King of Scotland

> James McElvoy cures Forest, as Idi Amin, of his gas pains
> Forest dealing with the captured intended assassins
> Forest and McElvoy at the airport at the end.

The Panic Room

> The showdown at the end
> Forest talking to Jodie Foster's daughter while giving her a diabetes shot.


> Forest and Travolta with the scientist from Berkeley
> Travolta sending out the coded message on Forest's radio
> Travolta tricking Forest with his Portuguese so he can talk to his cook
> The birthday party at the end.

The Great Debaters

> Forest outsmarting John Heard as the sheriff in their discussion in the jail
> Forest upset with his son for not telling him where he was

The Crying Game

> Forest, with the hood on, talking with Stephen Rea, telling the story about the frog and the scorpion
> Running just as Rea is about to shoot him.

Good Morning, Vietnam

> Driving around Robin Williams in a jeep in Vietnam.
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Go to the... Forest Whittaker Bio