If you’re looking for a good tear-jerker this holiday season, look no further than Michael B. Jordan and Denzel Washington's new film, A Journal for Jordan.
The emotional film, set to be released on December 25th, is based on the true story of author Dana Canedy's family and will definitely make you want to hug your loved ones a little tighter during this winter season.
It also leaves the audience to reflect on some pretty hefty themes like the impacts of their own lives and the legacy they'll leave in the world. Who better to ask about legacy than living legend himself, Denzel Washington?
“What the film says about my legacy? I don't know. I don't think about stuff like that,” Washington shared with Etalk’s Sonia Mangat while reflecting on his impact on the world and the film industry. He quickly pivoted to point out the impact of the true story in the movie.
“These are real people that went through real pain, real joy, real, real love," Denzel shared. “[Dana Canedy] has a real son who's become a real man that knows his father. Even though he doesn't know him or physically didn't have him, he knows him, and he loves him.”
Not dwelling on your own legacy is probably pretty healthy, but Michael B. Jordan seems to think Denzel Washington is being a little too humble about his impact on the industry, especially on aspiring Black actors and directors.
“I grew up watching his movies and his performances and always curious about his approach—to be able to see firsthand how he approaches preparation, rehearsal, his character breakdowns,” Jordan raved about the legendary actor. “Getting the inside scoop of how he operates—it's incredible.”
A Journal for Jordan marks Washington’s fourth directorial film, his first since 2016's Fences. That film was one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year and starred Academy Award-winning actress, Viola Davis for which she won her first Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Washington’s directing also inspired Jordan, who is set to make his directorial debut in the upcoming Creed III.
A Journal for Jordan is based on a New York Times bestselling memoir written by Dana Canedy about her authentic and raw love story. The film follows First Sargent Charles Monroe King (Michael B. Jordan) and Canedy as they fall in love. While exploring their unlikely but beautiful relationship, King and Canedy find they're expecting their first son together, a boy soon to be named Jordan.
During Canedy’s pregnancy, she had King write in a journal dedicated to their unborn son, providing advice and sharing his love for the new addition in their lives. King is deployed to Iraq shortly after and while he is gone, Jordan is able to learn about his father through the heartfelt journal.
“I think it is uplifting. It is emotional. It is painful, but it's joyful. It's that's kind of what love is," Washington says.
So, what made author Dana Canedy believe Denzel was the perfect person to translate such a compelling story to the screen? Dana says there isn’t one answer.
“It was a combination of things,” Canedy insisted. “He was the best at what he does. He was a family man. I knew he would understand love and loss and family… and he's a Christian. And so, the combination of those things told me absolutely that we were in good hands— Jordan and I—with giving Jordan's father's legacy over to him to translate the film.”
“I'm learning a lot about how love survives,” Denzel reflected on the film. “Going through the pain to get to the other side of it, to get to the joy.”
Michael B. Jordan shared that the movie showcases themes he strives to apply in his own life.
“I think that it's between love and time.”
“I think tomorrow is not promised,” Michael explained. “You got to squeeze that person a little bit tighter when you hug them. You got to let them know that. Make sure they understand how much you care about them because that regret is something real, you know.”
Don’t expect this film to just make you cry tears of sadness; Dana hopes this film will make you cry tears of joy, too.
“I hope you laughed as much as you cried because it is entertaining.”
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