“Roman J. Israel, Esq”

Director & Writer: Dan Gilroy
Producers: Todd Black, Jennifer Fox, and Denzel Washington
Cinematography: Robert Elswit
Editor: John Gilroy
Composer: James Newton Howard
Distributors: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: November 17, 2017
Run-time: 122 minutes

CHARACTER SYNOPSIS: As Roman J. Israel, Esq., Denzel Washington plays an idiosyncratic lawyer who finds his idealism tested after years of making sacrifices and eschewing personal comforts.

Denzel Washington is beginning to reach Meryl Streep levels of being honored. It seems like the Academy just enjoys them so they nominate them every time they act in something just because their body of work is so exceptional. There’s a reason the film “Roman J. Israel, Esq” is only nominated for one Academy Award. The film isn’t bad, per se, but it definitely is not an Academy Award worthy movie. Denzel also received a Golden Globe nomination for this role, but again, it does not even hold a match to his roles in say “Training Day” (which won him his second Oscar) or as “Malcolm X.” I even believed his role in “Flight” was worthy of an Academy Award. But then last year, his nomination in “Fences” was a little less worthy and now his performance as Roman J. Israel Esq is even a little more unfounded. He’s not bad and I don’t believe in his worst role he could be bad. His role as Roman is definitely different from anything he’s done. Roman is on the spectrum and has a hard time relating to people. He’s a savant but he’s also bad with decision-making. Denzel plays this well, but sometimes it almost feels like the role would have been better suited to someone else. And on top of that, the film’s writing is not that good, leaving Denzel floundering at times. Had James Franco gotten the nomination instead of Denzel, I believe that this category could have been more on the level of unpredictable but if there’s one prediction of elimination that I can give you, it’s that Denzel will not win this award. All four of the other men in this category deserve it more than he does, with the final race coming down to Gary Oldman versus Timothee Chalamet. This is far from a defining moment in Denzel’s career and even though he touts some amazing roles behind him, I still believe his best roles could be in front of him as he shows no signs of stopping.


1987 (60th) “Cry Freedom” Nominated Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1989 (62nd) “Glory” Won Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1992 (65th) “Malcolm X” Nominated Best Actor in a Leading Role
1999 (72nd) “The Hurricane” Nominated Best Actor in a Leading Role
2001 (74th) “Training Day” Won Best Actor in a Leading Role
2012 (85th) “Flight” Nominated Best Actor in a Leading Role
2016 (89th) “Fences” Nominated Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated Best Picture (Producer)


VIEWED: Friday
February 9th, 2018



Films Left Days Left

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