Two-time Oscar Winner Denzel Washington is on a roll these days. As you know, I wholeheartedly felt like he deserved the Oscar last year for Fences. However, he may have just outdone himself again with Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Portraying a savant type lawyer, Roman J. Israel (Denzel Washington), has no tact, no style and no sense of “reading a room”. especially when it comes to flirting. What he does have is the ability to remember legal details about a case like an African-American “rainman.”
When the leading partner of Civil Rights law firm passes on, Israel, who has been employed there for more than a decade finds himself at a crossroads personally and professionally.
At a recent Q&A, director/writer Dan Gilroy stated that he wrote the film with Denzel Washington in mind. “We are all agents of change…whatever you believe in – stand up for it.”
Washington, who is producing along with former William Morris exec Charles King, shared with the audience of mostly actors “There’s nothing wrong with dreaming or failing big…never give up.” Which is exactly what his character does in this film.
Roman finds himself in a downward spiral of morality while falling for a beautiful young woman Maya (Carmen Ejogo) and trying to straddle the line of the past (70’s) or stepping into the present way of practicing law with George Pierce (Colin Farrell).
When I tell you the nuance with which Washington portrays Roman is nothing short of a master class in acting…I do not exaggerate. I didn’t think he could be any better than Troy in Fences, but this brotha’ keep stepping up his game with each role he tackles. Such precision and passion is fascinating to watch.
Being a foodie, I would be remiss in not mentioning the most important co-star of the film …those bacon donuts available in downtown Los Angeles at 5850 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036 and is open 24 hours…just saying. In addition, the soundtrack will have you boogeying back to your car. Thanks Sony Pictures!
Roman J. Israel opened in theaters everywhere at Thanksgiving and is poised to give Denzel Washington yet another Oscar nod.