Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Great Debaters (2007) PG13 - 4½ Stars

Excellent movie based on a true story of the African American college students from Wiley College and the professor who took them to greatness debating against the best from Harvard. It's as close to a perfect movie as you can get from the all star cast to the event. Denzel and Whitaker are at the best as well as the rest of the great performing cast. Heart felt and makes you want to cheer on the underdogs as they show the world they matter too. Set in the 1930's when discrimination issues were just starting to be addressed.

Melvin B. Tolson (Denzel Washington) is a college professor at Wiley College, an African American college in the south East part of Texas. Professor Tolson, with his radical political views and unconventional teaching style, takes three students and teaches them the art of debate. He himself, is secretly involved in the Jim Crow laws of the 1930s discrimination and attends secret meetings with others.

James Farmer Sr. (Forest Whitaker) is the local preacher in the community. He becomes unsettled when his 14 year old son, James Farmer, Jr. (Denzel Whitaker), starts spending more time with Professor Tolson debating against other African American colleges. Along with fellow students, Samantha Brooke (Jurnee Smollett), who James Jr. takes a fancy too, Henry Lowe (Nate Parker) and Hamilton Burgess (Jermaine Williams), this team of underdogs will take on the most elite Harvard has to offer.

Awards Include:
2007 - The Great Debaters - African American Film Critics - Best Picture
2007 - The Great Debaters - National Board of Review - The Bvlgari Award for NBR Freedom of Expression

Harpo Films, MGM Distribution Company
Director: Denzel Washington
Writer: Robert Eisele
Producers: Todd Black, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Forte
I viewed 2/09

1 comment:

suZen said...

I loved this movie! Yeah, cheering for the underdogs is right! Great choice too for this Black History month!