Top 5 Denzel Washington roles that he should’ve won an Oscar for.
We all love a good Denzel movie. He has played some iconic characters either real or purely fictional, and while it’s wonderful that he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1990 for Glory and the Best Actor Oscar in 2002 for the iconic role of Alonzo Harris in Training Day there are several movie roles that I really think he should’ve easily won an Oscar for that he was just as good if not even better in the part. His performances in said roles were simply outstanding. These most definitely are up for debate but these are just my opinion of course so keep that in mind.
5. Ezekiel “Easy”Rawlins from Devil In A Blue Dress 1995.
Denzel was both smooth as silk and a rootable every man as Easy Rawlins in Carl Franklin’s 1995 great 1940’s detective noir flick based on novels by Walter Moseley. Easy was a character we can all relate to at some point: A normal, every day guy out of work and desperately seeking a job to pay the bills and keep his house, his most prized possession. He gets in over his head with all the craziness of murder, bigotry, cover ups, gun fights and secrets all around him but he rises to the occasion when it’s time to do so and finds a new career. Don Cheadle as Mouse was the film’s most prominent break out and he was also robbed of an Oscar for his dynamic performance as Mouse. It’s a shame that Denzel wasn’t even nominated for this great role, but it was Tom Hanks year to win with the other classic ’95 film Forrest Gump. Still, a brother could’ve got nominated, right?
4. Rubin “Hurricane” Carter from The Hurricane 1999.
The solitary confinement scene alone should’ve got Denzel the Oscar that year because he gave the performance of his life. It was Kevin Spacey’s year to win. Good for him but it sucks for all of us wowed by DW’s performance in this oft forgotten but powerful film.
3. Joe Miller from Philadelphia 1993.
Crazy to think that Denzel wasn’t even nominated for Best Supporting Actor since his excellent performance as the slick, smooth as silk and homophobic personal injury lawyer Joe Miller was just as crucial to the film as Tom Hanks’ excellent performance. It was an iconic pairing Hanks and Washington sharing the screen together in a film at the prime of their careers and I’d put Philadelphia as a personal best on both my lists of favorite Denzel and Tom Hanks films. I don’t know what the Academy was thinking but not nominating Denzel for that role is so crazy they’re gonna have to explain it to me like i’m a two year old.
2. John Creasy from Man on Fire 2004.
Nobody and I mean NOBODY could’ve played John Creasy better than DW. His performance was so excellent portraying a deeply flawed, deeply broken man who has done so much dark and borderline evil things in his life all for the sake of justice only to be brought back to life by this innocent, sharp and lovable little girl. She was the Dorothy to his Tin Man and when she was snatched from him the repressed killer was brought back to light to avenge. Now, 2005 had some truly great nominees in Don Cheadle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and Clint Friggin Eastwood so the competition was stiff and of course we all know Jamie Foxx had it that year for his iconic portrayal as Ray Charles so of course there was no better winner for that year… But… I do think Denzel’s performance in Man On Fire was too good to waste and maybe a special one time extra entry for Best Actor could’ve been done so that he could at least be nominated. His performance and the movie was that good.
- Malcolm “X” Little from Malcolm X 1992.
There will always be debate about whose deserving of an type of award or recognition no matter who it is or what work they’re being recognized for because we all have different opinions and that’s a good thing. But one of the most united opinions between most folks, not all, but most- is that in 1992 the biggest blunder the Oscars made was to not give Denzel the Best Actor Oscar for Malcolm X and instead give it to Al Pacino for Scent of a woman… Now this is in no way a slam against Al or to take away from his talent because he’s another iconic and immeasurably talented actor. But when was the last time you watched Scent of a woman? I figure that most of you out there who weren’t anywhere near alive in ’92 even recognize the title. I understand that Pacino was long overdue for an Oscar but couldn’t they have given it to him earlier for his much better work like The Godfather part 2 or Scarface? Denzel didn’t simply portray Malcolm X he became Malcolm X and it was due to his performance and Spike Lee’s love letter to the icon in the form of the movie that Malcolm X became alive again for a whole new generation: X hats became ubiquitous in the ’90s, so were posters, T-shirts etc. with faces of Denzel’s Malcolm and the real Malcolm. It also helped bring up the subject of race in a raw and unfiltered way that was needed at the time it was released with the infamous Rodney King verdict\LA Riots having had happened. All of that impact alone makes Denzel’s performance as Malcolm beyond Oscar worthy.
At the end of the day, Denzel is known as one of the world’s greatest and most beloved actors and it’s because like some of the greats that came before him and the ones who came up due to him, he puts the upmost effort in everything he does and if the academy didn’t always see that they needed to get themselves a new pair of glasses.
And with that I’m out: