Denzel Washington and Will Smith are two big names in the black actor community, more precisely in the Hollywood movie world. This year, they once again became rivals at the Oscars in the Best Actor category.
Denzel Washington shakes hands with junior Will Smith (left) at the 2022 SAG (Actors Association) Awards – Photo: IMDb
At the recent SAG (Association of Actors) Awards, when Will Smith won his first Lead Actor award for his role in the movie King Richard, Denzel Washington hugged his junior and said, “I am be happy for your success. This is your year. Be happy for what you deserve.”
It is a beautiful and respectful gesture in the artist world in general and in the relationship between the two big stars mentioned above, because more than anyone else, Smith always considers Washington a senior, a mentor of himself in acting.
Race after 20 years
For more than 3 decades, they are two of the brightest stars in Hollywood and have never lost their aura, both in terms of their talent, on-screen charm and personality in real life.
If forced to compare, the names of Washington and Smith in the world of black artists are like Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise in the world of white artists. They have iconic roles, landmark successes, and are both influential stars in the artist world.
Both were successful with both commercial and art-house films, though Washington was more of an art-house and Smith was more successful with commercials.
In 2002, at the age of 33, Will Smith seemed to have his first chance to touch an Oscar for his role as boxer Muhammad Ali in the sports biopic Ali, but was ultimately defeated by senior Denzel. Washington with a stellar performance in Training Day.
And 20 years later, these two black stars become rivals again in this year’s Oscar race. Denzel Washington received his 10th Academy Award nomination for his performance as Macbeth in the film adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic play: The Tragedy of Macbeth, directed by Joel Coen.
Meanwhile, Will Smith received double nominations for Best Picture (he was one of the producers) and Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in another sports biopic as King Richard. And this year’s race seems to favor Will Smith.
The power of acting
In The Tragedy of Macbeth, the latest adaptation of master director Joel Coen’s classic play cuts down on the drama of the story to focus on the expressive power of images.
Obviously, with a play that is so familiar, Joel Coen does not need to retell the story in too much detail, instead, he focuses on the symbolism and metaphor of the play by beginning invest in setting design and filming to give viewers a new way of feeling.
But even with the drama of the plot removed, the masterful performances of Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand still give viewers chills with their haunting incarnations.
The more restrained in acting, the more Washington makes viewers feel the tragedy of betrayal, greed for power and the insane torment of sitting on the throne that he raped to get.
In an essay called The Myth of Sisyphus, the French writer Albert Camus writes: “The more an actor puts his energy into the portrayal of a tragic character, the more careful he is to avoid exaggerating it. The moving effect of the role will be limitless.” That comment can sum up Denzel Washington’s role as Macbeth in the aforementioned film.
Meanwhile, with the sports biopic King Richard, Will Smith has too much acting space to unleash and make viewers watch, sympathize, hate and empathize with the journey of an unknown father who disappeared. His two daughters, Venus and Serena, became two of the greatest tennis players in the history of tennis.
Will Smith’s acting power is reflected in his utmost faith and dedication to the role, to the character he fully believes in. Almost appearing throughout the 2 hours and 24 minute biopic, Will Smith never loses his energy when playing the role of an ordinary but extraordinary father.
He’s patriarchal, domineering and just doing his own thing with no regard for the feelings of his wife or children, but Richard is also worthy of sympathy because everything he does is for the sole purpose: to make His two daughters became legends.
Richard makes many mistakes along the way, but it’s the mistakes that move us about a father’s sacrifice for his children.
And it was a golden opportunity for Will Smith to fully express the character’s bitter emotions, making his role completely transform and at the end of the journey, viewers shed tears because of the happiness that human beings had. achieved object.
King Richard is a simple sports biopic and doesn’t have many breakthroughs in the cinematic language, but Will Smith’s performance radiates a powerful energy of dedication and devotion to the belief that i pursue.
And if the upcoming Oscar is awarded to Will Smith, it will be completely deserved.