When the passionate, inspirational teacher and poet stands on a desk, you know he means business. Robin Williams did it as John Keating in Dead Poets Society, and now Denzel Washington is doing it as Melvin B. Tolson in the latest educational drama, The Great Debaters. A trailer has finally been released on the web, over at Yahoo, and while it starts off with a very recognizable attention-getter, it's still looking pretty darned good in its own right. Granted, I grew up watching school flicks with my dad, so it does hit a soft spot.

Regardless, I have a feeling this flick will do well. Denzel's second directorial effort, Debaters co-stars Forest Whitaker and Kimberly Elise, and it focuses on Tolson, a Texas professor at Wiley College in the '30s. He brought together a collection of his African-American students and created the school's first debate team, which went on to win a televised championship at Harvard. Tolson is snarky, rabble-rousing, and rebellious, which makes him prime meat for an inspirational drama. The film will be released next month, as Santa delivers his annual supply of coal and presents.
Funny site note: Correct me if I'm wrong, but looking at the trailer, it looks like young co-star Denzel Whitaker, who sounds like a love child between Washington and Whitaker, is playing Forest's son. While he has no relation to either actor, he was named after Denzel. Talk about a dream come true for those parents!