Monday, November 10, 2008

The Great Debaters - Movie Review

We avoided the election returns by renting the DVD of The Great Debaters and even if the election had turned out differently, I think we made the better viewing choice. A true story of the debate team from Wiley College, it's a sports-movie style treatment of an academic team. And since it sticks to the style of sports movies, you won't be surprised at the ending. Director Denzel Washington may be juggling a few too many sub-plots but overall he pulls it off nicely. I like southern culture, despite the history of civil rights abuses - really, wouldn't it be nice to have a movie about the south that didn't shine a negative light on this? - but I think the movie does a good job of showing how things probably were. Yeah, it's convenient the team never seems to argue a point it doesn't agree with but, well, what're ya gonna do? Overall, a good one.

(And, interestingly enough, the character played by Denzel Washington, Melvin B. Tolson, has an Oklahoma connection. He later became a professor of some renown at Langston University and he's buried just up the road in Guthrie.)

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