Antwone Fisher ★★★ 2002 (PG-13)
Washington's directorial debut is a drama based on the true story of Antwone Fisher, who also wrote the screenplay. Washington also stars as Jerome Davenport, the naval psychiatrist who helps the angry young Fisher (Luke) get past the demons of his foster childhood. The two knock heads and are both forced to change their own ideas, slowly coming to understand and trust one another. Davenport learns that Fisher was born in prison, his father murdered and his mother a convict. Davenport urges Fisher to confront his past, and some of the best scenes are with Fisher's aunt (Johnson), uncle (Billings) and mother (Davis), which resonate. Subplot with Davenport and wife Berta (Richardson) shows they have their own issues to work out, as well. A tearjerker in the best sense, the simply told tale is a triumph for Luke, who is impressive in his debut role. 113m/C VHS, DVD . US Derek Luke, Denzel Washington, Joy Bryant, Salli Richardson, Earl Billings, Kevin Connolly, Viola Davis, Rainoldo Gooding, Novella Nelson, Vernee Watson-Johnson, Kente Scott, Yolonda Ross, Stephen Snedden; D: Denzel Washington; W: Antwone Fisher; C: Philippe Rousselot; M: Mychael Danna. Ind. Spirit '03: Actor (Luke).