A sailor prone to violent outbursts is sent to a naval psychiatrist for help. Refusing at first to open up, the young man eventually breaks down and reveals a horrific childhood. Through the guidance of his doctor, he confronts his painful past and begins a quest to find the family he never knew.
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After awhile, you forget that the folks you're watching are black.Antwone Fisher presents Black Americans as middle-class and ordinary.You don't have to think "This is a black movie" at all. It's a fineexample of vision and leadership by all involved, including itsdirector Denzel Washington.Washington's Antwone Fisher is so good that you're effortlessly pulledinto the story of a young sailor who is tortured by his horrendouschildhood without the slightest fuss. Washington's direction is pure,workmanlike getterdone. You'd swear Clint Eastwood was behind thecamera. Not a bad comparison for a first directorial effort, huh? You can read the other comments to get a more in-depth synopsis; Idon't care to recount it here. Simply accept that Washington deliversthe story without schmaltz or scenery-chewing. There's such a naturalfeeling to AF that the suspension-of-disbelief disconnect that onefeels for awhile in most movies is missing here.I even enjoyed the way the US Navy was portrayed--a fighting force thatwill invest in the health and well-being of one of its members bysending this angry and miserable young man to a shrink instead of justto the brig.The greatest strength of Antwone Fisher is its attention to, its homageto human decency.
For this to be Denzel Washington's directorial debut, you'd think he was aveteran at this. This movie was so well done acting-wise as well asdirectorial. I would dub this movie as being a "thinking man/woman's movie. The story moves very smoothly throughout the film with enough toughness andcompassion for all. Derek Luke does a phenomenal job as the lead characterand as usual Denzel does a phenomenal job as well. I recommend this moviehighly to anyone who has a hard time opening up about their past and makingamends with themselves as well as others.
This was the directorial debut of Denzel Washington. This movie is based on the real life of Antwone Fisher and the screenplay is actually written by Antwone Fisher himself! For a first time director, Washington did a fantastic job and made one of the best movies of 2002.The movie opens with a slow montage of a dream. Antwone Fisher is dreaming of himself as young boy. He dreams of a big feast with a large loving family welcoming him. It is a sweet dream, but it ends abruptly. We hear a cow bell, hear a gunshot, and see a red flash on the screen. Fisher (Derek Luke) awakes. He is in the United States Navy and is in his bunk on his ship. We are presented very quickly with one of the major problems in Fisher's life: Anger. It doesn't take much to set him off, and when he gets angry he fights. Since fighting is an offense in the military and Fisher pleads guilty, his punishment includes seeing a psychiatrist.The psychiatrist that he is assigned to is Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington). Though Fisher is initially reluctant, he begins to open up and tell his story at the insistence of Davenport. His past has been full of pain. His father was murdered two months before Antwone was born and his mother gave birth to him in prison. He was raised an orphanage and once in a foster home. The scenes in the foster home give rise to some of the most painful images of the film and thoroughly explain Fisher's anger. It also presents the opportunities for Antwone's healing. Despite how this may be sounding, the problem and solution are not presented as simply as might be implied. Each time that it seems like we are leading into the conclusion of the film, we get another glimpse of Fisher's past and more is revealed that subtly changes how we viewed the story arc. Not only is Antwone Fisher going through therapy, we are getting to see it. We see the issues of trust and the slow revelations that take time to come out. There are things that Fisher was reluctant to talk about. Some things took most of the movie to come out. I suspect this is part of Fisher's healing process, how long some things took for him to be able to reveal. This is a powerful movie, a bit painful at times, but an absolute joy to behold. From start to finish this is an excellent movie and it doesn't ever take a wrong step. This was very well done, and this is one of the best movies of 2002. Antwone Fisher is worth watching, and I would even suggest that somewhat who buys this without having seen it first will not be disappointed.
This review is from: Antwone Fisher (Amazon Instant Video) I recommend this movie, although we would like to think of a perfect world with good people who are willing to help a child in need of a good home; you just never know. The story line taught awareness, deceit,trust and how a person can triump over some difficult dark times in their lives with the right type of discipline and help. Excellent movie. I purchased this movie at Amazon.com.
Antwone Fisher is cleary one of the best movies I've seen in 2003. DenzelWashingtion makes an excllenet directoral debut in this moving film. DerekLuke does an excllenet Oscar Worthy job as the title character and theexperiences that happened to him acutally broguht tears to my eyes. If youhaven't seen this film yet please go and give it a chance.
I won't summarize (other reviews have done a fine job of that), butANTWONE FISHER is a great drama, featuring wonderful performancesthroughout. The homecoming scene tugs at the heartstrings a bit morethan I would've liked, but overall I found the film to be subtle,lifelike, and a great film. As humanistic drama it easily outdoes justabout any current Hollywood drama - I was a bit shocked that thisdidn't pick up an award or two, though I'm also shocked that it wasmade in Hollywood at all. On that front it should be noted that this film did unfortunately weakbox office - given the extremely narrow range of commercially viableroles for African-American actors, directors and writers, this isdismaying - ANTWONE FISHER does present detailed characters (with aparticular focus on the psychologies of both major and minorcharacters), very sharp dialogue, and a refreshing absence ofstereotypes.
My God, we should all have such a debut! This film has so much heart. Itis the story of how much cruelty can be visited on an innocent child, yetthat child grows into someone who can be a good person with a little help.Denzel is that help, even though he needs a little help himself. Bottomline: this is a powerful story of overcoming rage and becoming afuctioningperson, and you'd better have a big box of tissues on hand for the ending.There literally is no weak point in this movie. Casting, acting, &directing are perfect. This is a 12 on a scale of 10. You need to havemajor tests if you don't cry your eyes out by the end. You could bedeclared dead!
Somewhere along the way the story of ANTWONE FISHER misses being thesort of film it starts out to be. The boy's miserable past is merelyhinted at in a series of abusive moments that don't really correspondto why his anger management problems are so out of control. It takespsychiatric help from DENZEL WASHINGTON to set Antwone on the path ofredefining himself as a person.And it all comes down to: trace your history, find your mother (henever knew his father who was killed), and reunite with your relatives.It seems a pat solution to a deep rooted problem and it gets rathersuperficial treatment from director Denzel, who gives it a HallmarkHall of Fame sort of presentation--shifting midway through the story tosentimental theatrics with Fisher surrounded by a boatload of smilingrelatives.Nothing about the screenplay is very original--you know, boy withabusive past grows up with a chip on his shoulder--and there are no newdiscoveries made here by either psychiatrist Denzel or the viewingaudience.DEREK Luke and JOY BRYANT are fine as the leads who find tender romancetogether and begin the search for Luke's parent after an abusive fostermother finally gives him the name of his dead father. This leads to areunion with an aunt and, finally, with the mother who abandoned him.This scene is extremely well acted and poignant, as the mother isunable to say a word to her son as he presents himself to her.But at the midway point in the story, where Denzel suggests the boytrace his roots, the story becomes overladen with sentiment to play atthe heartstrings. And the final scene, with Denzel relating why his ownrelationship with his wife has been so strained, is just too pat whenit's tied in with his client/patient relationship with Fisher.Summing up: A good movie could have been a great one with a strongerstory of Fisher's past as the centerpiece.
I had heard good things about this movie and decided to go check it out, not knowing anything that it was about. Well, one of my favorite types of movies are the ones about interpersonal family relationships. This one really got to me and I thought it was incredible. Denzel was wonderful as well. The new actor, Derek Luke, I expect and hope to see in other movies. This film was very well acted. If you haven't see this movie, I would highly recommend picking it up.
For his first time directing Denzel Washing did a very good job with this film. I thought Derek Luke did a find job as well. Overall Antwone Fisher was a very well made movie.
Antwone Fisher shows that even though a person can go throughdepravedand hellish conditions, there is always the potential to rise above itall.There are many people like the main character of this film, but many arenotrescued by the love of family and friends.There is no shortage of scenes that tell the story of pain and isolation,but the scenes that showed the control and intimidation practiced by thefoster mother was enough to make me stop the film twice. The mostmemorablescenes were the long and sometimes hard flashbacks into the youngster'slifeas a foster child who had to deal with "slave" antics from Ms. Tate andsexual abuse from neighbor Nadine.The scene that revealed that the healing process was working was Antwone'sability to go back home to Cleveland (with the support of his girlfriend)toconfront his demons----the foster mother and the neighbor. I liked the wayhe stopped Ms. Tate when she tried to hug him. I viewed this as his lastactof defiance against her, to let her know that there will never be any moreabuse. I smelled victory when she gave in and gave him the name of hisfather. She knew she had been defeated.An element in the film that stood out was the camera placement thatdisplayed the graphic abuse that showed Antwone's helplessness. The sceneplaces the character in a full frontal position, trembling, with thewhitesof his eyes looking directly at the camera (the viewer). Anyone watchingthescreen can't help but be mesmerized by the abject fear in hiseyes.Another element that was used frequently was the two-shot. Antwoneis not familiar with having a relationship with anyone; this type of shotshows his distance from people. In the scene when he is brought into thepsychiatrist's (Davenport's) office by the military police after he didnotshow up for his scheduled appointment, this shot has a psychologicalundertone. In this scene, they are viewed in the profile position. Thisshows how remote Antwone is from Davenport, as well as from other people.The film switches to a full front view once Antwone opens up to thepsychiatrist. I believe this view leads into the personal proxemic patternthat is used troughout the rest of the film between Antwone and Davenport.The childhood suffering in this film can be compared to thesuffering inflicted upon Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane. In thesefilms, both characters were abandoned at very young ages, left looking foracceptance and unconditional love.Antwone Fisher tells the story of the self-titled character. It is aninspirational movie that shows that it's never too late to overcome thepast. It renewed my faith that people don't have to be a victim of theircircumstances. They can rise above everything and still be a decentpersonand be good examples to all that know their story.
Denzel Washington's debut as a director starts off as a lively, if veryfamiliar pairing of troubled seaman Fisher (Derek Luke in a fineperformance) and a Navy psychiatrist (well-played by Washington) assigned tofind out why his patient has a hair-trigger temper which leads him toviolence.As Fisher goes through the usual scenes of initial distrust until that firstbreakthrough, we begin to see the harsh reality of the man's childhood, onemarked by abandonment and traumatic physical & sexual abuse at the hands ofa foster family.In the meantime, we're also provided with Fisher's first romance with afellow female in the Navy, as well as a glimpse of Washington's troubledmarriage.Once it's clear that Fisher is on the way to recovery, the film loses it'snarrative energy and starts to drag. The story is certainly engrossing initself, but the presentation (i.e. the direction) is pretty by-the-book,which ultimately grows wearisome. While Fisher's story is largely fact-based, the dramatic arc is no differentthan many other stories of the same nature, so it would have servedWashington well if he had shaped the material differently so that itwouldn't seem so familiar - no matter how inspiring. Also, the romancebetween Fisher and the woman is charming, but pretty mild in its dramaticimpact.There is one powerful scene near the end where Fisher finally meets thebirth mother who abandoned him. Viola Davis, an excellent actress who got awell-deserved Tony Award for her work in August Wilson's "King Hedley II,"has few lines in this scene, but she doesn't need them. Her face and bodylanguage do more than words could.Unfortunately, the effect of this scene is undercut by the next scene, anunbelievable ending in which Fisher is greeted by the entire extended familyof his late birth father - somehow, his aunt managed to get the entire clantogether in a matter of an hour or so and put together a breakfast feast. "Uplifting"? Yes, but far-fetched. Films don't need to work this hard todrive home the importance of family.
Whatever you become in your life,you must never forget that you haveroots.This is the story of true facts that was made into a beautifuland moving movie! I dare to say that this movie is well underrated.Thisshows us a reality of life...the more evil surrounds you ,the betterperson you become.Trust in your instincts and be aware that the idealof life is to live it happy...without grudges,without living "under arock" . The movie concept is more that interesting...connecting thestorytelling with real life events...keeping us aware ofeverything..from facts to emotions! Bless these people and makeeveryone happy ! See it,i recommend it to all young people.it's notabout racism it's about how to live your life !
ANTWONE FISHER (2002) **** Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, SalliRichardson, Leonard Howze, Kente Scott, Kevin Connolly, Rainoldo Gooding,Novella Nelso, Malcolm David Kelley, Cory Hodges, Stephen Snedden. ActorDenzel Washington makes a powerfully confident directorial debut in thisbiopic about a good young sailor in the navy (Luke in a truly stunningacting debut of award caliber excellence) Â the eponymous film subject Âwhose past demons have nestled into nothing but troubles for him and withthe assist of the outfit's psychiatrist (portrayed evenly by Washington)Fisher is able to gain a foothold on his present and more importantly, hisfuture. Heartbreakingly poignant and all too knowing in its depiction ofthe triumph of the human spirit ; at the same time non-condescending norpreachy; the film unfolds like all good storytelling: naturally andeffortlessly. Bryant also gives a remarkable debut turn as the young womanwho sees Fisher for the man he is and nothing less. The real Fisher was asecurity guard @ Sony Pictures prompting Washington to make the movie andcoincidentally Luke worked in the gift shop, an amateur actor in the making,who knew Fisher and the rest is history. One of the best films of theyear.
i watched this movie with my eight year old granddaughter and i criedthrough the whole movie. my granddaughter asked me why was i crying. icouldn't explain to her that i was looking at my own life. thank-you mr.fisher for showing me that you can heal. i found myself going through thesame emotions that antwone was feeling when he didn't want to talk abouthislife. anybody whose ever been abused or neglected should see this movie.itshowed me that i am not alone and to seek help in order to heal. though itis very hard for me to watch this movie again, i still feel this movieshould have been oscar nominated.
[Washington's] strong hand, keen eye, sweet spirit and good taste are reflected in almost every scene.
The film starts out as competent but unremarkable ... and gradually grows into something of considerable power.
Many thanks to Amazon.com for sending me this DVD. I will say that I normally avoid full screen versions of movies, as they almost always destroy the director's original vision of how the scenes should look by chopping off the action on the left and right sides of your screen. This movie is no exception. There are some scenes with simply gorgeous cinematography and watching the full screen version only makes me want to trade it in for a widescreen one because I know I'm missing half the picture this way and it irks me. That said, there's plenty of rage and violence in this film (with good reason, I might add), and after the gorgeous opening dream sequence, it starts off with a pretty testosterone fueled fight in the locker room between him and another Navy man. As a result, Antwone is sent to the psych clinic where eventually, he is able to start to work through all of his unresolved anger issues, which stem from a rather dysfunctional childhood. At first, it is made quite obvious that Antwone doesn't want to play the game -- who in his right mind would want to dredge up all that pain again? -- but he soon comes to realize that the Naval psychiatrist, played by Denzel Washington, really has his well-being at heart. Once Antwone learns to trust, he is able to open the floodgates to reveal the puzzle pieces which comprise his tormented childhood.Antwone is an intelligent man who was abandoned by his mother, constantly kicked down by his foster "family" and others, and somehow still has the courage to pick himself up and dust himself off after such shameful mental, physical and emotional abuse by the people who should have cared for him and protected him in his formative years. It's great to see an abused child overcome the pain and grow up to become a mature, courageous, well-adjusted man with the help of therapy and true friendships.I was more interested in the psychological aspect of this movie than the romantic one -- purely a matter of personal taste -- but the scenes between Cheryl and Antwone were enjoyable and sweet and their chemistry was good. All in all, I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Thanks again, Amazon!
The low expectation I had for this film was confirmed when I saw it,unintentionally, at a sneak preview. I will say that Derek Luke is theonlybright spot in this re-telling of the same old story of a troubledyoungsterhelped by kind and wise mentor. This actor is very appealing but the filmoffers no new insight into the struggle to find the truth in one's life.Infact, I would say that the last half hour of this film is insulting toanyone who is truly struggling with parental issues. It's all wrapped upnice and neat and pretty, and way too quickly, with the main characternevergaining any knowledge of his mother or her life. This is just anotherserving of Hollywood fluff that is just to sweet to swallow.
This story gives one hope no matter our past experiences. We can become anything we desire to become. Denzel was awesome as was the story he told. Thank you.