Movie Review of Thurgood (2011) (TV movie)
In this one-man play adapted for film, Lawrence Fishburne never drops a beat out of character as the charismatic lawyer and later first black Supreme Court Justice, and always with flair and a sense of humor. The one man style may turn some off just by concept, but fret not because at every turn, I was either laughing, crying, or both in this feature-length exploration of the first black Justice's historic and action-packed life.
The elements of writing, acting, and directing are up front and boiled to their keenest, most direct presentation; on stage flows special attention to detail bursting from every scene. As Thurgood ages, Fishburne changes his posture, tone, mannerisms, and delivery, yet holds true to the unmistakable personality of Marshall he crafts from frame one to frame end. Fishburne succeeds with the subtle brushstrokes of a master painter--explicating for the visible audience how he calmed the chaos of famous civil rights cases with his brilliant arguments.
Fishburne even expertly acts as Thurgood acting as other people, further showcasing the range and emotiveness of a devotee living and breathing the script. I can't be any more glowing in praise of the natural, off-the-cuff quality in every line. Each finely-delivered and transitioned piece of his life oozes with profound sadness and humor--something most creatives struggle their whole lives to reproduce.
Enlighten yourself with Thurgood, a true American hero, and now legend of the theater and screen.