Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman.
The true story of ANTWONE FISHER tracks a remarkable young man on the path to recovery from physical and sexual abuse. Antwone Fisher (Derek Luke) is a young Navy sailor who is on verge of getting booted from the military because of his volatile temper when he is ordered to mandatory sessions with psychiatrist Dr. Jerome Davenport (Denzel Washington). After a few strained sessions, Fisher navigates through difficult memories of his Cleveland childhood, mostly of life with a vicious foster mother (Novella Nelson) who beats him on a regular basis (and refers to him not by name, but by the n-word) and a foster sister who violates him sexually. Fisher and Davenport form a father-son bond (Fisher even adopts the doctor's wife [Salli Richardson] as a kind of surrogate Mom). And eventually he finds the strength to work through his anger and the courage to forge his first romantic relationship with Cheryl (Joy Bryant).
Writer Antwone Fisher, making his screenplay debut, achieves an encouraging view of human nature with this story, and first-time director Washington molds it into a film that ranks with GOOD WILL HUNTING and ORDINARY PEOPLE. Washington demonstrates his ease with actors by drumming up rich emotional intimacy, not without naturally humorous and awkward moments. Vivid, painterly images and the yearning melodies of composer Mychael Danna complete the artistry of the film.