Crazy Leader: Idi Amin
His fearless performance as the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (the self-proclaimed “Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”) in Kevin MacDonald’s 2006 drama garnered Forest Whitaker as Oscar. That is right and fitting — his Amin is one of the indelible movie madmen of the past decade. But what makes Whitaker’s characterization especially harrowing is the glimmer of humanity and weakness that occasionally peers out from behind those crazed, hooded, staring eyes. No one in his or her right mind would want to spend five minutes with that man — but watching him on screen for an hour or two generates the sort of thrill that only the greatest actors can elicit from an audience.
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