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"The Last King of Scotland" News

Congratulations to Forest Whitaker!
Posted at 8:33 AM (PST) on Monday, February 26, 2007

Forest Whitaker: The Last King Of Scotland, Oscar-Winner, Best Actor in a Leading Role

Academy Award-Winner Forest Whitaker Stars in the Powerful and Shocking Drama The Last King of Scotland; A Visceral and Brilliant Thriller on DVD April 17, 2007 from Fox Home Entertainment, with Audio Commentaries, Deleted Scenes, Casting Sessions and More

Charming. Magnetic. Murderous. Under the mad dictatorship of Idi Amin - phenomenally portrayed by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland - Africa experienced one of its most horrific reigns of terror. Now Amin's gripping tale of ambition and corruption will captivate audiences when The Last King of Scotland debuts on DVD April 17 from Fox Home Entertainment. Based on Giles Foden's award-winning debut novel of the same name and featuring "one of the greatest performances of modern movie history," (Wall Street Journal), The Last King of Scotland stars Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker (Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai, Panic Room), who has received multiple accolades - including Best Actor wins at the Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, National Board of Review and International Press Academy Awards - for his total embodiment of the charismatic, yet psychopathic Ugandan dictator.

Based on chilling, actual events, The Last King of Scotland follows Amin's rise to power and subsequent fall from grace chronicled from the perspective of his personal physician, a young Scotsman blinded by Amin's charisma and who ultimately must confront both the reality of Amin and face the consequences of his own actions. Boasting gritty and realistic direction from documentary filmmaker Kevin MacDonald (Touching The Void, Being Mick) and a versatile supporting cast that includes James McAvoy (The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe), Gillian Anderson ("The X-Files") and Kerry Washington (Fantastic Four), The Last King of Scotland is "an intelligent thriller that keeps the audience on the edge of its seat" (Newsweek).

Loaded with powerful special features, The Last King of Scotland DVD includes audio commentary by MacDonald, seven deleted scenes with optional director commentary, a "Capturing Idi Amin" documentary, a Forest Whitaker featurette and much more. Available in both full screen and widescreen versions, The Last King Of Scotland will be available for $16.99 U.S./$30.44 Canada.

The Last King Of Scotland Synopsis:

As Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, Forest Whitaker gives "one of the greatest performances of modern movie history" (Wall Street Journal), one that Premiere calls "the most high-voltage performance of his career." This is Amin's incredible story as seen through the eyes of Nicholas Garrigan (James McAvoy), a young Scotsman who became the volatile leader's personal physician through an unlikely twist of fate. Seduced by Amin's charisma and blinded by decadence, the doctor's dream life becomes a waking nightmare of betrayal and madness from which there is no escape. Inspired by real people and events, The Last King of Scotland is a gripping, suspenseful stunner filled with performances you will never forget.

The Last King Of Scotland DVD is available in both full screen and widescreen versions, and features English Dolby Surround 5.1 as well as Spanish and French Dolby Surround and English, Spanish and French subtitles. Bonus materials include:

*Audio Commentary By Director Kevin MacDonald
*Seven Deleted Scenes With Optional Audio Commentary By Director Kevin MacDonald
* "Capturing Idi Amin" Documentary
*Forest Whitaker On Portraying Idi Amin Featurette
*"Fox Movie Channel Presents: Casting Session - The Last King Of Scotland"
*Theatrical Trailer
*International Trailer

Source: Business Wire

Three BAFTAs fro LKoS
Posted at 10:19 AM (PST) on Monday, February 12, 2007

This year's Orange British Academy Film Awards were held on Sunday 11 February 2007 at the Royal Opera House in London. Click here for the full list of nominees with winners in bold.

FOREST WHITAKER - The Last King of Scotland

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock

Outstanding British Film of the Year
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Andrea Calderwood/Lisa Bryer/Charles Steel/Kevin Macdonald/Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock

Gillian at "The Last King of Scotland" London screening
Posted at 9:51 PM (PST) on Tuesday, January 16, 2007

LONDON - JANUARY 11: Actors James McAvoy (L) and Gillian Anderson attend the special screening of "The Last King of Scotland" at The Electric Portobello January 11, 2007 in London.

Pictures courtesy of Philiater.

Five BAFTA noms for LKoS
Posted at 12:57 PM (PST) on Friday, January 12, 2007

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Andrea Calderwood/Lisa Bryer/Charles Steel

THE ALEXANDER KORDA AWARD for the Outstanding British Film of the Year:
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Andrea Calderwood/Lisa Bryer/Charles Steel/Kevin Macdonald/Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock

THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - Peter Morgan/Jeremy Brock

FOREST WHITAKER - The Last King of Scotland

JAMES MCAVOY - The Last King of Scotland

This year's Orange British Academy Film Awards will be held on Sunday 11 February 2007 at the Royal Opera House in London.

Click here for the full list of nominees.

Two BIFAs for LKoS
Posted at 6:25 AM (PST) on Thursday, November 30, 2006

LONDON, Hammersmith Palais -- Kevin Macdonald won the best director prize for his "The Last King of Scotland" at the ninth annual British Independent Film Awards on Wednesday night.

Anthony Dod Mantle was awarded the technical achievement award for the cinematography on "Last King of Scotland".

For a complete list of winners, click here.

BIFAs are now regarded as the kick-off to the international awards season which culminates in the BAFTAs and Academy Awards in the Spring. The BIFAs also have a real purpose to promote British Independent film talent to an ever growing audience worldwide.

An Award for LKoS!
Posted at 6:42 AM (PST) on Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The 17th Stockholm International Film Festival

Best Cinematography 2006: Anthony Dod Mantle for "The Last King of Scotland"

The jury's motivation: "Powerful images ranging from the delicate to the hard-hitting, which do not only take you back in time, but also stimulate all senses".

For a complete list of winners, click here (pdf).

Six BIFA nominations for LKoS
Posted at 2:32 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, October 25, 2006

By Katja Hofmann
Variety International

LONDON — "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland" and "This is England" lead Blighty's indie noms.

Stephen Frear's royal drama "The Queen" was nominated for seven British Independent Film Awards today including best indie pic, helmer and femme thesp for Helen Mirren. In addition, Mirren also is to receive the Variety Personality of the Year Award.

"The Queen," which examines the impact of Princess Diana's death on Blighty's royal family, was closely followed by Kevin Macdonald's "The Last King of Scotland" and Shane Meadow's "This is England," which both received six noms each. Andrea Arnold's "Red Road" was nominated five times including best pic. Roger Michell's "Venus" also nabbed five noms including Peter O'Toole for best thesp.

Nicholas Hytner's "The History Boys" scored four noms. Like "The Last King of Scotland," the pic was produced through DNA Films, the U.K. shingle backed by Fox Searchlight. This marks a departure for the BIFAs following a recent rule change, which allows pic financed by U.S. studios to qualify for the awards as long as their budget doesn't exceed $15 million.

The noms were announced by this year's jury topper, veteran producer Sandy Lieberson at a function at London's Soho House. Amongst the Brit bizzers squeezing into the bar were "History Boys" and "Venus" producer Kevin Loader, Pathe UK topper Francois Invernel and BIFA founder Elliot Grove.

The BIFAs will take place on Nov. 29 at the Hammersmith Palais in west London.

For a complete list of nominations, click here.

Glitzy opening for film festival
Posted at 1:23 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Glitzy opening for film festival
The Press Association
October 18, 08:43 PM

The stars turned out to give the 50th London Film Festival a glittering opening as The Last King Of Scotland had its UK premiere.

James McAvoy and Forest Whitaker, who stars in the film, were joined by co-stars Kerry Washington, who shimmied down the red carpet in a stunning white dress, and a very pregnant Gillian Anderson.

The cream of British cinema also turned out for the crowds in London's Leicester Square - Joseph Fiennes was joined by his girlfriend Maria, while Bafta winner Thandie Newton also put in an appearance.

McAvoy, who was joined by fiancee Anne-Marie Duff, wearing a black and gold dress, revealed that the film made its mark on him.

"The film has had a profound effect on me personally," he said, adding that he hopes to return to Uganda as soon as he has time.

"I want to do awareness work, probably with the Red Cross, and fundraising for displaced people," he said.

The Last King Of Scotland, which deals with some of the worst excesses of Idi Amin's dictatorship, gave the actor the chance to play a rare role, he added.

"The opportunity to play someone who was self-serving and arrogant doesn't come along very often," he explained.

"I feel it was a truthful representation of Britain in Africa."

LKoS Reviews
Posted at 12:24 PM (PDT) on Monday, October 16, 2006

Over one hundred reviews are available at Rotten Tomatoes.

McAvoy effectively creates a portrait of a confused young man, susceptible to Amin's charms. Nicholas likes his pleasures. Upon arriving in Uganda, he puts the moves on his colleague's wife (an arresting Gillian Anderson, who has made fascinating career choices since "The X-Files''). -- Ruthe Stein (San Francisco Chronicle)

At a rural clinic Garrigan has taken up with the medical director's wife, played movingly by Gillian Anderson, who is particularly good whenever playing a Brit of one sort or another. -- Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)

Gillian Anderson and Kerry Washington both contribute soulful, indelible turns as women caught in unsafe places: Anderson as a lonely, knowing relief worker; Washington as one of Amin's multiple wives. (Anderson, strangely, seems to disappear from the film fairly early, but her performance is remarkable in its ability to create a character and history in just a few scenes. Her Sarah never looks at anyone straight-on; she's always peering sideways, not quite sure what to believe.) -- Moira Macdonald (Seattle Times)

Gillian Anderson co-stars with a new kind of sexy vulnerability as one of the mission workers during the film's first section. -- Jeffrey M. Anderson (Combustible Celluloid)

The four highly diverse leads are uniformly excellent, with the talented Anderson again transcending her longtime TV persona as “X-Files” agent Dana Scully, and Kerry Washington, as one of Amin's wives, likewise impeccably tackling accent and era. -- Frank Lovece (Film Journal)

Audiences no doubt will be filled with mixed emotions as Whitaker brings one of this century’s most complex public figures to the screen. Supported by a talented and superb cast which also includes a completely transformed and elegant Gillian Anderson, and Simon McBurney as the rather ambiguous British cloak- and-dagger figure, Nigel Stone. -- Jed Dreben ( York Post)

''The Last King of Scotland'' opens shortly after Amin has seized power, and his madness had yet to take at least visible bloom. After a brief spell working at a clinic run by a white British doctor (Adam Kotz) and his wife (a very fine, almost unrecognizable Gillian Anderson), Garrigan signs on with Amin. -- Manohla Dargis (New York Times)

Even at the beginning of his bumptious adventure, Nicholas' principles are never in doubt: He takes a post at a medical mission run by a harried but ferociously dedicated Dr. Merritt (Adam Kotz) and his wife, Sarah (Gillian Anderson, who, in a very small role, conveys a woman whose altruistic gravity is grazed with just a touch of loopiness). -- Stephanie Zacharek (

Ironically, Dr. Garrigan has no purpose at first he decides on Uganda by putting his finger on a spinning globe, and he arrives only with vague hopes of doing some good and having some adventures. He has those soon enough, too, romancing an African woman and then flirting with the lonely wife of one of his colleagues. She's played by Gillian Anderson who's reverted to her natural blond hair (and English accent) and picked up a raw, sunburnt look; she's quite good and gives this part of the movie an adult, melancholy charge. -- Stephen Whitty (The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.)

Even those with less screen time than Whitaker and McAvoy are given their rightful space and fill it fully. Kelly Washington, as one of Amin's beautiful wives who turns to the doctor for the comfort of love; Gillian Anderson, as a fellow medic's wife with a firm grasp of the limited potential for charity and hope in Amin's Uganda; and Simon McBurney, as a seedy British official with an expedient view of the folly of any and everyman's imperialism, are all strikingly on cue. Their performances, just like the two lead roles, the script and the direction, are invested with understanding of the ongoing mistakes of history, the issues manifested in this weird duet between the African tyrant and Dr. Garrigan. -- Bridget Byrne (Box Office Magazine)

And when he lands at his first destination, a rural clinic, you know he will put the moves on the top doc's decent and deceptively sensual wife, Sarah Merrit. (The never-disappointing Gillian Anderson contributes her haunting presence to the role and makes even her disapproval sexy.) -- Michael Sragow (Baltimore Sun)

The charismatic McAvoy finds an ever-shifting blend of opportunism and decency; Simon McBurney is a reptilian marvel as Idi’s English minder; and Gillian Anderson is amazingly vivid as a beaten-down do-gooder. -- David Edelstein (New York Magazine)

James McAvoy Interview
MoviesOnline, Canada

Q: What was your experience of working with Gillian Anderson like?

JM: Good. She was really cool. She was very focused and very professional. I think she has got a lot of contact with Africa. She works in Africa quite a lot, not as an actress, but her ex-husband used to work in Africa quite a lot and I think she does a lot of aid in Africa. So it was very important for her to do something, I think, working there and increasing her experience there. So no, she was good fun.

Five Minutes with: James McAvoy
By Amy Longsdorf for Impulse

Impulse: What was it like doing a love scene with Gillian Anderson?

McAvoy: Well, I'm a big fan of the "X-Files," so I got to pretend to be Mulder for a day. I didn't actually tell her that. But I did come up with a lot of "X-Files" theories, only to have her go, "That's ridiculous.' She was really great.

For UK residents: Win 2 tickets to the LFF Opening Night Gala
Posted at 10:02 AM (PDT) on Wednesday, September 27, 2006

From The Times BFI 50th London Film Festival Web Site:

Win 2 tickets to the Opening Night Gala

The London Film Festival's Opening Night Gala this year is the striking, impressive film by Kevin McDonald, The Last King of Scotland, starring Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy. Set in Uganda, it boasts a fine performance from McAvoy as a young doctor who becomes caught up in the terrible events during the reign of Idi Amin.

We are looking forward to welcoming lots of the talent from the film at our Opening Night Gala on 18 October, and some very special guests will be in the audience to help celebrate our 50th year. To get your hands on one of the Autumn's hottest tickets - to walk up the red carpet and take your seat in the Odeon Leicester Square with illustrious members of the international film industry - just answer this simple question:

What was the name of McAvoy's character in the magical world of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe?

For Terms and Conditions, click here.

The Last King of Scotland Reviews
Posted at 11:09 AM (PDT) on Monday, September 4, 2006

Screen Daily

Hollywood Reporter

In Contention


Rotten Tomatoes: Reviews and photos

Forest Whitaker's performance in Kevin Macdonald's debut narrative feature has set tongues wagging with award-season prognostications.

"If it helps promote the film, that's great," Whitaker said about the buzz. "But I can't really count on it too much. When I was doing 'The Shield,' people were writing about me getting an Emmy nomination. But I didn't get nominated. In this case, I love the film and if that buzz helps people go see it, cool." (Denver Post, 9/3/06)

In his audacious feature film debut, documentarian Kevin Macdonald takes a thrill-seeking young Scottish doctor to Uganda during the reign of terror of dictator Idi Amin, played at full throttle by Forest Whitaker. It's easy to see how the doctor gets seduced by Amin and his power, harder to understand why it takes so long for him to face the brutal truth.

Telluride Reaction: Good buzz.

Oscar Watch: Whitaker dominates the movie in this larger-than-life role and should earn a nomination. (The Hollywood Reporter: Risky Biz Blog, 9/4/06)

LKoS: Official Website Is Now Live!
Posted at 7:07 AM (PDT) on Friday, September 1, 2006

The official website for "The Last King of Scotland" is now live! Check it out here.

Telluride peeks at Oscar

By Anne Thompson
Hollywood Reporter

The 33rd Telluride Film Festival, which gets under way Friday, will spotlight such Oscar hopefuls as Douglas McGrath's "Infamous," the second Truman Capote biopic in two years; Todd Field's "Little Children," the director's follow-up to "In the Bedroom"; Kevin Macdonald's "The Last King of Scotland," starring Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin; and Steven Shainberg's Diane Arbus biopic "Fur," starring Nicole Kidman.

Read more.

LKoS Sneak Peek in New York
Posted at 10:09 AM (PDT) on Saturday, August 26, 2006

From Eyebeam reBlog:

On Sunday, September 17, we’ll be presenting a preview screening of "The Last King of Scotland" and a discussion with stars Forest Whitaker and James McAvoy and cinephile-turned-director Kevin Macdonald. Go to the Museum's Web site and sign up for our weekly email, and you won’t miss a thing.

David Schwartz; Chief Curator, Museum of the Moving Image

About the Museum

LKoS Review in Men's Vogue Magazine
Posted at 5:27 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, August 23, 2006

hearts of darkness
Forest Whitaker brings Idi Amin back to life

By Ned Martel
Men's Vogue

The world, it seems, has always had too few men ready to abandon PowerPoint and power ties for unknown places where they might save lives. Based on Giles Foden's novel of the same title, The Last King of Scotland explores the missionary impulse that catapults a Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan (played by the puckish James McAvoy), into the impoverished villages of Uganda during the 1970s reign of the infamous General Idi Amin, who is resurrected in Forest Whitaker's thunderous performance. After a chance encounter, the despot cottons to Garrigan, offering him the chance to help even more, as the country's de facto health minister—as long as he will tend to Amin's health. The doctor tries to reform the general, but ends up infected by the moral corruption; a free Mercedes convertible awakens an appetite for power he didn't know he had—and that won't stop growing. (His one voice of reason, Gillian Anderson, comes but then goes, and too soon.)

The film is an exceptional re-creation of what was once Africa's bloodiest kingdom. (All the genocide since then makes Amin's seem comparatively peaceable.) Kevin Macdonald won an Oscar for his Munich Olympics documentary, One Day in September, and then scaled slippery heights in the docudrama Touching the Void. Here he does something closely aligned with Fernando Meirelles's The Constant Gardener, with its blurry, painterly sweep of Africa, and its intrigue among imperialists grasping for pharmaceutical profits. But Macdonald spends more time probing various inner sancta—the hotel pools and modernist embassies where Western expats schmooze, Amin's taxidermy-strewn bedroom, and, above all, the dark heart of that impetuous, imperious warlord, who died in exile in 2003.

Amin's taste for pageantry, ingrained by the Scottish officers who instructed him as a child, is matched only by his appetite for savagery, and Macdonald's depiction of extreme brutality—the regime tortures suspected traitors and makes dissidents disappear—almost becomes too much. But Whitaker dominates, imposing order and thoroughly creeping everyone out—even Amin's wives freeze in fear. Whitaker's role is more regal than his turns in Panic Room, The Crying Game, or, lately, on the actors' cable showcase, The Shield. When necessary, Whitaker's errant eye signals shiftiness, and his huge smile collapses into a harrowing frown, and along the way, he issues his own imposing reminder to the world: Here is one of the most agile, vital actors appearing on any screen. Ultimately, Macdonald's updated take on Aesop's Androcles, who tamed the angry lion, suggests that some beasts can never be befriended.

This film is not yet rated.

TLKoS: Toronto International Film Festival
Posted at 6:47 AM (PDT) on Friday, August 18, 2006

TIFF Celebrates The Finest In African And African-Diaspora Cinema

Ten films from 12 countries point to the imagination and diversity of African and African-diaspora cinema. Added to the line-up of the 31st Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 7-16), these titles, with focuses ranging from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to a black female messiah superhero, include six world premieres and two North American premieres.

Kevin Macdonald, UK, Special Presentation
World Premiere

On a medical mission in Uganda, Dr. Garrigan (James McAvoy) becomes irrevocably entangled with one of the world's most barbaric figures, Ugandan President Idi Amin (Forest Whitaker). Impressed by the young Scottish doctor's brazen attitude in a moment of crisis, the newly self-appointed president selects him to be his personal physician and closest confidante. Though Garrigan is at first flattered and fascinated with his new position, he soon awakens to Amin's savagery - and his own complicity in it. Horror and betrayal ensue as Garrigan tries to right his wrongs and escape Uganda alive.

Box Office Info

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