September 26, 2016

Denzel Washington joins the Oscar race, promotes “Flight” on Letterman


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: My immediate impulse after catching up with Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight” this week was to Tweet, “Welcome to the Best Actor race, Denzel Washington.”

The longer I let the movie sit, though, it seemed like a 140-character reaction to a film that attempts – and accomplishes – so many difficult emotional maneuvers was slight and diminishing. “Flight” deserves” more than that. So much more. But for the record, welcome to the race, Mr. Washington.

Zemeckis’ return to live-action played the New York Film Festival earlier, and is ramping up toward its Friday release. Hurricane Sandy tried to slow down Paramount’s publicity push on Monday night. Instead, Washington appeared on David Letterman’s late-night talk show, which taped without an audience because of the adverse weather conditions.

Clips of Washington on Letterman are below. They’re fascinating for various reasons: He’s always a compelling interview; he has a tremendous character and a powerful film to promote; and there’s the eerie calm of no studio audience. Watch for yourself.

“Flight” is a must-see, an Oscar contender that delivers a right-cross to its audience after a devastating (and masterfully executed) plane-crash sequence. The movie might not be what you are expecting from the trailers – it’s far more concerned with the pains of alcoholism, and the moral quandaries that face a flawed hero. But it’s a stellar return to live-action for the director of “Cast Away,” and just might be one of the best movies you’ll see this year.

http://youtu.be/kGHvlJZxV6Q

Read more of our exclusive Awards coverage:
Our “Silver Linings Playbook” review
Ben Affleck tells us about “Argo” and the possibility of more Dennis Lehane stories
Bryan Cranston calls “Argo” his “proudest moment in motion pictures.”
Helen Hunt opens up about on-screen nudity for “The Sessions”
Amy Adams lends strength to “The Master”
“Arbitrage” director Nicholas Jarecki on Richard Gere and the Oscar race.
Producer Harvey Weinstein

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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