Antwone Fisher marks the directorial debut of Denzel Washington and premier script of the flesh-and-blood Antwone Fisher, on whom the film is based. Together they deliver a touching account of one man's defiant struggle with his past: severely marred by growing up in an abusive foster home.
Newcomer Derek Luke finds a solid performance as the troubled sailor, Antwone Fisher, sent to the wise and caring Navy psychiatrist, Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington) to resolve his anger management problems. Washington revs up the ante on the therapist/father- surrogate angle, reminding viewers of analogous scene stealing of the Robin Williams-Matt Damon duo in Good Will Hunting. Aside from the obvious comparisons to Good Will Hunting (similar storyline, different locale), this film is definitely a contender in the tearjerker, feel-good domain of proficiently crafted studio offerings to a public that never tires of such righteous sentiments. The irony lies in the fact that this is Antwone Fisher's real life history, sold to Sony Pictures studio producer Todd Black, while Fisher was working there as a security guard over 10 years ago. Derek Luke, a fellow Sony Pictures employee and part-time actor, heard Fisher was writing the screenplay, auditioned for the role, and won it. A case of 'six degrees of separation', no doubt.
Without trivializing Fisher's difficult life experiences, and despite some estimable portrayals (particularly from Novella Nelson and Viola Davis), the movie relies too heavily on a predictable melodramatic formula, which may serve as the requisite emotional safety net for the general audience.
-Meeting Antwone Fisher
-The Making of Antwone Fisher
-Hollywood and the Navy
-Antwone Fisher – Original Theatrical Trailer