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Ghandi (1982), starring Ben Kingsley (text from Yahoo)
The acclaimed dramatization of the life of Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, from his beginnings as a South African-educated lawyer through his historic, galvanizing struggle to free India from British Colonial rule. Academy Award Nominations: 11. Academy Awards: 9, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Ben Kingsley, Best (Original) Screenplay.
Text on Ghandi from:
Uncle Orson's List of the Best Films Ever Made
Yeah, it's long. So was Ghandi's life. Sure, it's a puff piece -- though the negatives do seep through (by the end, don't you feel pretty sure that being Ghandi's wife must have been horribly hard?). But Ghandi walked the walk, and his life mattered, and he changed the world. He actually lived the kind of life that usually has to be imagined in sci-fi or fantasy. And this film is beautifully done, with a brilliant, restrained, real, yet megawatt performance by Ben Kingsley. Like Linda Hunt, his body has kept him from playing a lot of the roles that would have made it clear he's one of the half dozen best film actors ever. But, also like Linda Hunt, whenever he's on the screen he elevates the material. And here, where he absolutely carries the movie, he is at his finest. Doubt me? Then imagine Kevin Costner or Nick Nolte delivering the speech to the man who wants to find a way out of hell, and you'll understand what I mean. Costner and Nolte are good actors, but they do not have the tools to do what Kingsley does with that brilliant scene.