An early Oscar lock

If you see The Last King of Scotland next week (opens Wednesday, 9/27), you’ll be one step ahead next year when your office Oscar pool rolls around. Because Forest Whitaker’s getting a best-actor nomination for this film, definitely. Hell, far as we’re concerned, just messenger over the damn statuette now.

Last King is a flawed movie (based on a rather preposterous novel), but Whitaker makes it a must-see. It purports to tell the story of the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (Whitaker) through the eyes of his (fictional) Scottish personal physician, Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), who’s sucked into Amin’s despotic political machine during the ’70s as many actually were: by sheer force of personality.

The narrative is, at first, very entertaining — because Amin is a little crazy and hugely charismatic. Until he gets a lot crazy and hugely, murderously paranoid.

Last King’s denouement is the nuttiest thing about this nutty buddy-story-gone-wrong… but, again, Whitaker’s performance? Holy feck!

“>WATCH the Last King of Scotland trailer

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. An early Oscar lock