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  • Award Snub: A lot of people felt that James McAvoy should've been nominated for his strong supporting performance. It did help that Forest Whitaker acknowledged him in basically every single acceptance speech he made (which was a lot).
    • Made worse when you consider McAvoy was the lead, and Whitaker was just the big name and the villain, and the film just has an Antagonist Title.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Well, since this is a biography, many people know that in the end, Amin was overthrown. However, considering what happened in the movie and the fact that the demise of Amin's regime is only mentioned in the credits, it's not exactly a happy ending. For Nicholas, it's more of a Downer Ending.
  • Complete Monster: Amin eventually turns out to be one. Note "turns out to be"- as his wife Kay says, he was always a bastard; he just didn't let Nicholas see it until it was too late.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: Nicholas Garrigan is based on Bob Astles, whose role in the events of Idi Amin's reign is controversial, to say the least.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Nicholas. He's perpetually selfish and conceited. He doesn't seem to care much for neither of the married women he's interested in, beyond fulfilling his lust. However, finding out that one of your best friends is a mass-murdering dictator isn't decent karma. Also, watching him get tortured is brutal.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The fate of Kay. Not to mention Nicholas being tortured, more specifically being hung from meathooks by his nipples. Aiyee.
    • Amin's gradual Villainous Breakdown becomes increasingly frightening.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Nicholas. Amin is who everyone came to see, but Nicholas is in much more of the movie. To be fair, he is the protagonist.
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