Jamie Foxx’s performance in Just Mercy has earned him the Spotlight Award at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival.
As TheGrio previously reported, in the fact-based courtroom drama, Foxx plays Walter McMillian, a death row inmate accused of murdering a white woman, but insists he’s innocent.
Michael B. Jordan portrays Bryan Stevenson, the real-life lawyer who has been fighting to exonerate the wrongfully incarcerated through the Equal Justice Initiative he founded in 1995. Since then, he has saved more than 125 men from the death penalty. In 2014, he wrote Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, which is the basis of the film produced by Jordan’s Outlier Productions.
“It’s a good time for a movie like this to be coming out,” said director Destin Daniel Cretton in a new interview with the LA Times. “Bryan does not beat people by arguing them into submission. He’s kind of an empathy genius who disarms the walls we put up by reminding us that we all want to live in a world that is fair and just.”
While promoting the film on Good Morning America on Tuesday, Fox called Just Mercy “the most important film that I’ve ever done,” and noted how Stevenson “works feverishly to get people exonerated on death row who have been falsely accused.”
He added, “I’m telling you this is the most important film you’ll ever see… everyone needs to know this man’s [Bryan Stevenson] work.”
The 31st annual Palm Springs International Film Festival runs Jan. 2-13. Foxx will be honored at the Film Awards Gala on Jan. 2.
“In Just Mercy, Jamie Foxx gives a moving and truly remarkable performance as Walter McMillian, a man sentenced to death for a murder for which he was wrongly convicted,” said fest chairman Harold Matzner. “This is an inspiring drama that brings an important story about how our justice system can fail to the big screen. It is a story that audiences should see.”
“This is an inspiring drama that brings an important story about how our justice system can fail to the big screen. It is a story that audiences should see. It is our honor to present the Spotlight Award, Actor to Jamie Foxx,” he added.
Just Mercy opens in select theaters on Christmas Day and nationwide on January 10.