Considered one of the best actors of his generation and also today, Denzel Washington stands out for being a charismatic character who has innate qualities that seduce both professionally and personally. The essence of him lies in the magnetism and passion that he exudes with each of his interpretations.
Winner of three Golden Globes, an Actors Guild Award, a Tony Award and two Oscars, these for the films “Glory” as best supporting actor in 1989, and for “Training Day” as best leading actor in 2001; Awarded the 2019 AFI Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, Washington has become one of the greatest legends of cinema playing characters such as Malcolm X, Steve Bikó, Rubin Carter, Joe Miller, the lawyer who helps Tom Hanks to win his case in Philadelphia, Frank Lucas or Roman J. Israel.
Washington was also responsible for the career advancement of the late Chadwick Boseman and the creator of the Oscar for best supporting actress for Viola Davis for the adaptation of August Wilson’s novel “Fences.”
There is no doubt that Denzel Washington was, is, and always will be one of the industry’s greatest actors, a pioneer who broke patterns and stereotypes and a jewel of cinema to be protected and remembered forever.
Malcom X (1992) -A spiritually enriching testament to the human capacity for change and, without a doubt, Spike Lee‘s most universally engaging film. An epic work given its sociological importance with which Denzel Washington earned critical acclaim for his sublime portrayal of the African-American leader.
American gangster (2007). One of the best films of the genre by the master Ridley Scott that tells a story based on real events in which he tells the rise in the late 60s of a black man who came to dominate the business led by white men until then: trafficking of heroin on the streets of New York, especially Harlem. Denzel Washington exudes charisma, elegance and a hypnotic power of seduction in his portrayal. A brilliantly made film in all its aspects. The script is a true marvel, solid as a rock and brought to the screen to perfection, the cast is dreamy and not only for the two main protagonists, but also for the huge number of secondary ones of authentic luxury. The setting of the entire film from the 60s to the 90s is second to none. Photography, locations, soundtrack, everything stands out in a work of exquisite taste, very realistic, very solemn in everything and truthful
Training Day (2001) Without a doubt, what makes “Training Day” an outstanding film is Denzel Washington’s masterful performance as a seasoned corrupt cop, a great connoisseur of the world of street gangs and troubled neighborhoods. As A.O Scott noted for The New York Times “(…) he is a modern Machiavelli in this intermittently brilliant police drama”
Philadelphia (1993). A very emotional and moving drama with which we can enjoy a heads-up between two of the great actors of the time. A masterful Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington whose interpretive replica is simply excellent. In addition, it has a spectacular soundtrack with songs by Bruce Springsteen -an Oscar winner-, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel or REM, among others.
Glory (1989). An antiwar drama set during the American Civil War and focused on the participation of black soldiers in the Union forces in which, once again, the acting skills of Denzel Washington stand out, accompanied by the great role of Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman .
The Hurricane (1999). To talk about this film is to talk about its protagonist, Denzel Washington, who performs a portentous, brilliant, enigmatic and nuanced performance for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar, along with Kevin Spacey for “American Beauty” and Edward Norton for “American History X”. Impressive in characterization, Washington gets into the character’s skin and makes him absolutely believable.
Much ado about nothing (1993). Remarkable adaptation of Shakespeare, which exploits the cinematographic possibilities of the text. A story of crossed and misunderstood loves, of betrayals and loyalties, of laughter and tears, of poetry and enchantment. A triumphantly romantic, comic and most surprising of all, emotionally alive film. On this occasion, Washington stands out not only for his perfect performance, but for being one of the few actors who has played Shakespeare in a great masterpiece.
Cry Freedom (1987). “You can beat me, put me in jail or even kill me, but I will never be who you want me to be.” This phrase by Steve Biko, the South African activist / martyr against Apartheid, also represents Washington’s stubbornness not to camouflage itself in Hollywood. He has never wanted to go unnoticed and no one has given him anything. 30 years ago Hollywood still did not dare to bet on a production centered on an African-American protagonist. From there came the fashion of the cinema about interracial friendships (‘Lethal weapon’, ‘Life sentence’, ‘Jerry Maguire’), which gave visibility to black actors, as long as they appeared accompanied by a white with a soothing effect for the viewer. Here is Kevin Kline, who plays Biko’s lawyer and friend, but no one remembers him today.
The activist’s iconic slogan, “black is beautiful,” could headline Denzel Washington’s career.