Foster-Fishing for Forgiveness
Antwone Fisher
Review by Ross Anthony

Bring Tissues.

I must admit a small bias: I bumped into Antwone at a screening earlier in the year. Maybe because of a certain pleasantness about him or perhaps just the somewhat unusual Antwone Fishername, I remembered him. At that time, I didn't know his story, just a few words of hello and a handshake. So, when I watched the film, I couldn't help but imagine him writing it, living it.

A sailor in the US Navy has trouble controlling his temper. His many fights force him into psychological counseling with Commander Davenport (Denzel Washington). The sessions take some time to mature, but the interaction between the two is always warm, always endearing. Fisher's (Derek Luke) charm packs a meatier punch than his fists.

It's a film about overcoming anger, finding forgiveness for a torturous foster childhood. It's about turning around and living. "I was born in prison two months after my father was murdered."

By now the "tough kid meets psychiatrist" tale is becoming a genre on its own -- "Good Will hunting," "Finding Forrester," etc. Nevertheless, Antwone's story exudes a sweet allure, hosts very likable characters that you care greatly about, and is ultimately truly his. Oh and yes schmaltz. But at the end of a hard day's work -- don't we all deserve a little schmaltz?

Antwone's story caught the attention of Producer Todd Black while Fisher was working as a security guard at Sony Pictures Studios more than 10 years ago.

"I became determined to write my story simply because I was told that I couldn't... When I saw the film for the first time, I was overwhelmed by a mixture of feelings: fear, joy, pride, satisfaction -- all of which still linger, and I am certain they will for the rest of my life. I hope others, too, walk away with those same feelings and the courage to do something to better the lives of children in general. " Antwone Fisher.

  • Antwone Fisher. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring: Derek Luke, Malcolm David Kelley, Cory Hodges, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson, Leonard Earl Howze, Kent Scott.
  • Directed by Denzel Washington.
  • Written by Antwone Fisher.
  • Produced by Todd Black, Randa Haines, Denzel at Fox Searchlight.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:21:31 PDT