Happy birthday, Don Cheadle!

Today – 29th November – is the 47th birthday of Donald ‘Don’ Frank Cheadle, the Oscar nominated star of Hotel Rwanda.

In a similar vein to my post on Kate Winslet, I want to take a look at three films that Cheadle is in that I haven’t seen but would like to. Out of the films I have seen him in my favourites are The Guard, Crash and Reign Over Me.

1. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

I remember all the hype and praise this film received when it was released seven years ago. However, back then it wasn’t the kind of film I’d go and see on a Friday night with my friends, favouring comedies and rom-coms instead. Now a more seasoned cinema goer, I think it is about time I watch this film, which earnt Cheadle his Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Cheadle stars as Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a 1,000 Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.

2. Traffic (2000)

This ensemble piece by director Steven Soderbergh also stars Benicio Del Toro, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. IMDb gives its synopsis as: “A conservative judge is appointed by the President to spearhead America’s escalating war against drugs, only to discover that his teenage daughter is an addict.”

When I do get around to seeing this Oscar winning film I need to make sure I’m concentrating very closely as it focuses on three different stories. With a stellar cast – Del Toro won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for his performance – I do expect a lot of this film, especially as Soderbergh won the Best Director Oscar and the film was nominated for Best Picture.

3. Boogie Night (1997)

Previously, I’ve only seen parts of this film. Apart from Cheadle, I want to watch the it because of Julianne Moore, one of my favourite actresses, who stars as leading lady Amber Waves. The film also stars Mark Wahlberg as the lead character Eddie Adams, better known as Dirk Diggler. Cheadle stars as Buck Swope, a porn star who marries his fellow porn star, Jessie St. Vincent, and wants to open a stereo equipment store.

  • Have you seen any of these films? How would you rate Cheadle’s performance?
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14 thoughts on “Happy birthday, Don Cheadle!”

  1. I love Cheadle. The man is brilliant. BOOGIE NIGHTS is one of my favourite films, and he is brilliant in it. He’s so funny! Julianne Moore also gives one of the best performances of her career in that film.

  2. I’m glad to see you’re a fan of Reign Over Me. I really enjoyed that film. I think Adam Sandler’s work has gone down the pan of late but when he works with the right writer-directors he can display some real acting talent. Cheadle is excellent in the film.

    I would definitely recommend Boogie Nights and Hotel Rwanda. Traffic was okay but not a must-see.

  3. I remember Hotel Rwanda being very good, though having to psyche myself up to watch it, in a similar way to Schindler’s list. I haven’t seen Traffic and all I really remember of Boogie nights is the steady-cam shot following William H Macy through the house before he shoots himself; I couldn’t have told you that Don Cheadle was in it!

  4. Hi, Claire and company:

    Excellent choice for an overcast Tuesday!

    Don Cheadle first grabbed my atention as Mouse in ‘Devil In a Blue Dress’ opposite Denzel Washington’s Easy Rawlins. Where Mr. Cheadle stole every scene he was in.

    Also thought he was more than a serviceable Sammy Davis Jr. in HBO’s ‘The Rat Pack’.

    He was also one of the best characters in the completely over rated and thoroughly boring ‘Crash’. Superb in ‘Hotel Rwanda’

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Cheadle!

  5. I haven’t seen Hotel Rwanda either. Perhaps I will watch it here soon!

    Happy birthday to Don Cheadle! He has done so many different roles, I enjoy him.

    I half-way agree with Jack in that, yes, he was one of the best characters in ‘Crash’, but Crash was an amazing film!

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