Thank the Devil...

(l to r) Don Cheadle and Denzel Washington from Devil in a Blue Dress
today I watched Devil in a Blue Dress on cable (satellite actually, but that's not the point...). while the headliner of the movie was the excellent-as-usual Denzel Washington, what makes this movie noteworthy for me -the reason i've seen it so many times- is the film's REAL star: Don Cheadle, whose character Mouse Alexander brought a bit of Texas gangster into the noirish gumshoe flick. Cheadle's performance was so authentic that he was universally praised (winning the LA Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics Awards, as well as nomination from the Screen Actors Guild for best supporting actor) , even when the movie as a whole wasn't.
Director Carl Franklin (Nowhere to Run, One False Move) managed to craft a film that stands as an example in black cinema, not of what is generally done, but what should be. adapted from the novel of the same name by Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress manages to be more than a period noir flick or a "black movie"... it addresses issues of love, race, infidelity, etc with an easy hand. but beyond all that, it gave me a new actor to identify with in Cheadle, whose star is still rising...
word.
-samax
samaxAmen.com

5 comments:

Omagus said...

Yeah, DIaBD is a good, not great, movie. And most of that good does come from Cheadle. This is really the role that put him on the Hollywood map.

I may catch flack for saying this but, as good an actor as Denzel Washington is, Don Cheadle is on another level above him. He just has so much more range.

J.R. LeMar said...

Somehow I missed this one.

samax said...

Cheadle is definitely a better actor than Denzel. Denzel has star power. right from the early days of his career, we could tell Washington was a star.

I'm not a big booster of black cinema, but i give props to black film doing other genres besides the usual...

J.R. LeMar said...

"Cheadle is definitely a better actor than Denzel."

I don't know if I'd go THAT far. I'll admit to probably being biased, since I've seen way more of Denzel films than Don's, so maybe I don't have a good enough frame of reference for comparison. But they're both very good.

samax amen said...

Believe it. Cheadle is a better actor. Not a knock on Denzel, easily one of the great movie stars of our time, but Cheadle is a better actor.

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