Sunday, February 17, 2008

Final Results of the Denzel Washington Poll

In a tight race, Denzel Washington's Oscar-winning performance as Private Trip in the 1989 film "Glory" was voted as the favorite of his 5 Academy Award nominated/winning roles. I am always surprised by the poll results and one thing I didn't expect was the strong showing of Denzel's first Oscar nominated role as Steven Biko in the movie "Cry Freedom".

Had I voted, I would have selected Denzel's performance as Malcolm X. In his brief life, Malcolm went through many changes. As a result, Denzel was required to give a multi-dimensional performance. To say that he pulled it off is an understatement. As I've said before, I think that Denzel was robbed when he didn't win the Academy Award for his role of Malcolm X. In a case of the academy playing "make up" for not honoring him in the past, they gave it to Al Pacino for "Scent of A Woman" that year. Given that Malcolm X was such a controversial figure, I still find it hard to believe that the academy would honor Denzel for his performance even if Pacino wasn't in the running that year.

Receiving the least amount of votes was Denzel's role as corrupt L.A. cop Alonzo Harris in the 2001 drama "Training Day". My theory is that the role's poor showing in the poll was more a reflection of viewer's distaste with Denzel's character, not the performance itself. I always enjoy when a performer plays against type, so I was pleased to see Denzel go to the dark side.

Here are the final poll results:

Private Trip (Glory)- 27%
Steven Biko (Cry Freedom) and Malcolm X- 22% each
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter (The Hurricane)- 16%
Alonzo Harris (Training Day)- 11%

Below is a clip of the famous whipping scene from "Glory":


AQUILOGY said...

Denzel sucked in cry freedom he didn't get the south-african accent right!!

Malcolm said...

Aquilogy: If you thought Denzel sucked in "Cry Freedom", you must have really detested the performances of Kevin Costner in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" and Keanu Reeves in "The Devil's Advocate".

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