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Movie Review: The Last King of Scotland

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Intense is the word best used to describe the latest film starring Forest Whitaker. Who would have thought a guy who did movies like Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai and Battlefield Earth would be a now critically acclaimed actor who is most likely going to be nominated for, and possibly win, an Oscar?

Whitaker plays Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator who massacred over 300,000 people after taking charge of the country during a time of great turmoil in 1970. The story centers around his personal doctor, who is a young Scotsman fresh out of school whose ego and lust for sleeping with other men's wives will become his downfall. They meet randomly when Amin is injured by a bull who wandered on to a road. Aparently, Amin punched the bull and injured his hand. The doctor, Nicholas Garrigan, played by James McAvoy, quickly wraps Amin's hand, and after the whining of the injured bull, takes Amin's gun and shoots the bull twice to put it out of its misery. This intrigues Amin, who takes a liking to Garrigan when he learns that he's Scottish. Amin loved the Scottish people for some reason, even dressing up himself and his soldiers in kilts and bag pipes.

Overall, the film was great and the acting superb. But the most suprising thing about it was the return of Gillian Anderson from The X-Files, who now looks like she's gone on the Nicole Ritchie diet, although didn't lose any sex appeal in the process. I love watching indie movies because they allow for surprises both in the plot and what actor from the past you might see next. Plus, getting to see emerging young talent you never saw before is always fun. McAvoy looks a lot like a young Ewan McGregor though.

You should go see this one if you get the chance. If not, just wait for DVD — it's easier these days anyway. I had to drive to Santa Monica for this one, but it was worth it. I forgot to mention the other fun part about seeing indie movies — going to the old theaters. They at least make you feel like you're seeing something special as opposed to the AMCs of the world that are all about corporate profit and fancy buildings.

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