Check out this week’s Oscar-winning Movies You Have Not Seen But Should: The Last King of Scotland!
The Last King of Scotland
It’s time for another installment of Movies You Have Not Have Seen But You Should. For this week’s installment we will look at the 2006 drama The Last King of Scotland. The film stars Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington and Gillian Anderson.
The film is based on the book The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden. The story is a mix of fact and fiction. It is a story of an account of a fictional character meeting a real life person. The fictional character is Dr. Nicholas Garrigan (played by McAvoy). The real life person is Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (played by Whitaker).
The story begins in 1970 when Dr. Garrigan leaves his homeland of Scotland and moves to Uganda to work in a missionary clinic with Dr. David Merrit and his wife Sarah (played by Anderson). Nicholas develops feeling for Sarah but she doesn’t want to pursue an extramarital affair. It is while he is working in this clinic that Amin comes to power in a coup.
At first, Nicholas believed that Idi will genuinely help the country. Their paths would cross when Nicholas was called to treat Idi when the dictator was involved in a minor car accident. The two would develop a friendship due to Idi’s admiration for the Scottish people. Idi would make Nicholas his personal physician and gave him the duty of modernizing health care in the country. However, Nicholas would come to know the darker side of the dictator first hand.
This included getting to know one of Idi’s wives Kay (played by Washington) who was ostracized because of her child having epilepsy. Nicholas and Kay develop feelings for one another and eventually sleep with each other. This would lead to a series of events that would be very costly for the two and would lead Nicholas to first try and kill Idi and later to escape the country. What happens? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.
The film is that mix of reality and fiction. There are certain parts of Idi Amin’s story which are factual while others departed from reality. There was some gruesomeness to the film (which leads to an understandable R rating). The film debuted in limited release in the U.S. on September 27, 2006. It then was released in the U.K. in January 12, 2007. It got a lot of critical acclaim receiving 87% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metacritic score of 74. The film received numerous nominations and awards. Forest Whitaker won both the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, the Academy Award for Best Actor, the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Award for Best Actor along with Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. The film itself won BAFTA awards for Best British Film and Best Adapted Screenplay. It would gross worldwide over $48 million dollars with merely a $6 million dollar budget.
The Last King of Scotland is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Amazon Instant Streaming. It is a very harsh film but it is worth seeing. It is one that you may not have seen, but you should.