Travers: Denzel Washington Joins Oscar Race With 'Flight'

After a decade of safe choices, Washington soars to a new career peak

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Peter Travers takes to the sky this week with the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight, which stars Denzel Washington as a drunk, drug-using airplane pilot who's vices help him land a crashing plane – and that's just the first third of the flick. The rest of the film finds Washington's character, Whip Whitaker, dealing with the consequences of his heroics – going to rehab and dealing with a justice system that must decide how to punish him.

No spoilers here, of course, but Travers does have plenty of high praise for Washington's Oscar-caliber performance: "This is the peak of Denzel Washington. This is him acting not just up a storm, but finding something that goes on inside a character . . . You look at Denzel Washington's face in Flight, and you're gonna see something a special effect could never do."

Agree with Travers that Daniel Day Lewis and Joaquin Phoenix need watch out for Washington at the Oscars this year? Let him know in the comments below, on Twitter or via e-mail.

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