Chicago International Film Festival 2012 Flight Directed by: Robert Zemeckis Cast: Denzel Washington, Kelly Reilly, John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Melissa Leo Running Time: 2 hrs 10 mins Rating: R Release Date: November 2, 2012
PLOT: A pilot (Washington) who executes a life-saving crash landing is accused of being intoxicated during the flight.
WHO'S IT FOR? If you love Denzel Washington, great original stories, or challenging mainstream dramas, don't miss Flight.
Just as the Oscar-winning film The Artist played CIFF's closing night last year, so will Flight with the same type of transitional attitude that takes us from festival season into award season.
Without gushing too much about this film (that will come November 2, when the film is released nationwide), this captivating American drama is the most accomplished work from director Robert Zemeckis and star Washington in at least a decade. With this story that is focused on the purest aspects of what makes a great movie, the two are working with goals less flashier than their previous endeavors (which were starting to hole them into types).
This is the type of movie that Washington is built for. Despite many of his previous roles, the sure-fire actor doesn't need to pound his chest to be powerful, or shout like an idiot, or become the mentor figure to a younger white guy (Unstoppable, Training Day, Safe House), he just needs a good story (which he gets from a challenging original script by John Gatins). He has such here with Flight, a movie that gives the talented actor his own Lost Weekend, in a role that is just as emotionally effective as Ray Milland's performance in that Oscar-winning Billy Wilder movie.
Whether Flight does take off during award season remains to be seen, (and is unimportant), but the impressiveness of this film will stand. With Flight, both Washington and Zemeckis experience a redemption of the artistic variety.
FINAL SCORE: 8/10