Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
USA, 1999. Azoff Entertainment, Beacon Communications, Beacon Pictures, Universal Pictures. Screenplay by Armyan Bernstein, Dan Gordon, based on the books The 16th Round by Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, and Lazarus and the Hurricane by Sam Chaiton, Terry Swinton. Cinematography by Roger Deakins. Produced by Armyan Bernstein, Norman Jewison, John Ketcham. Music by Jeremy Sweet, Christopher Young. Production Design by Philip Rosenberg. Costume Design by Aggie Guerard Rodgers. Film Editing by Stephen E. Rivkin.
Patronizing TV-movie style biography of ‘Hurricane’ Carter, the boxer of the 1960s who was put in jail for half a lifetime for a murder he did not commit. Norman Jewison gives a thorough account of Carter’s story, from his rough childhood to his success in the ring, his vendetta with a racist cop (Dan Hedaya), all the way through to the three Canadians who find out about his story and help get him freed. Were it not for Denzel Washington‘s brilliant and committed performance in the lead, the film wouldn’t have anything going for it, but thankfully his power as a performer makes the tepid plotting and emotionally manipulative elements of the movie more than bearable.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Actor (Denzel Washington)
Berlin Film Festival Award: Best Actor (Denzel Washington)
Golden Globe Award: Best Actor-Drama (Denzel Washington)
Nominations: Best Picture-Drama; Best Director (Norman Jewison)
Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination: Best Actor (Denzel Washington)
Toronto International Film Festival: 1999