Hot Take: If you enjoy Denzel Washington’s acting (Are there people who don’t?), Roman J. Israel, Esq. is almost a must see. Better acting performance than movie with Washington carrying the load here.
For his directorial debut, writer Dan Gilroy made a splash with Nightcrawler in 2014. Before Nightcrawler, most of Gilroy’s writing credits were co-writing credits and the list wasn’t overly impressive unless Freejack, Real Steel and The Bourne Legacy piqued your interest. Gilroy received accolades for his directorial work on Nightcrawler (and an Oscar nomination for his screenplay) which brought some interest around what his next directorial effort would be. Enter Roman J. Israel, Esq., a character-driven story about a Los Angeles attorney with social disorders who spent years behind the scenes at a small law firm but is thrust into the limelight when the face of the firm has a heart attack. Played expertly by Denzel Washington, Israel is an interesting but uneven character study featuring a story that doesn’t quite live up to the character created by Gilroy and brought to life by Denzel. It’s comparable to last year’s Miss Sloane in that the best thing about the film is the star who breathes life into the character unlike almost any other actor or actress can. Washington and Miss Sloane star Jessica Chastain have a lot in common in that way as they can take a mediocre film and elevate its status. It’s hard to imagine Washington working with any other actor once you see the film and inhale Washington’s performance.Read More →