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Denzel Washington May Be Up For His Next Oscar With Roman J. Israel,Esq

Sony has released the Roman J. Israel, Esq. trailer. The new film from Nightcrawler director Dan Gilory stars Denzel Washington as the title character, a struggling lawyer whose lifelong crusade for social justice comes crashing down when his partner suffers a heart attack. Adrift in a legal system he’s spent his whole life trying to change, Roman decides to go work for George (Colin Farrell), a high-priced attorney at a powerful firm.  From there, Roman wrestles with trying to keep his mission alive in a world that continues to reject his idealism, and selling out to indulge in the pleasures he’s always wanted.

This trailer leaves out the finer points of that synopsis, but it does a fantastic job at portraying the moral (and legal) grey areas that writer-director Gilroy is playing in here. It dips into highly contested perceptions of sexism and racism, the perennially dysfunctional legal system, and the internal conflict between the thankless and costly job of being a crusader for social justice versus using your inherent advantages to game the system. Roman J. Israel, Esq. sure looks and sounds like it’s going to tackle a lot of complicated topics, so I’m curious to see how well it actually accomplishes this.


Watch trailer here


Roman J. Israel, Esq. is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenge the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monied lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.

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