I apologize to Grant in advance if this is considered off-topic, but I know I've discussed this with him (and others) in the past, more than once, including on CBR forums, but am not sure if the CBR conversation was here or MOTO.
In any case, I know I am not alone in my opinion that, if you define skill in acting as making the viewer believe that you ARE the character, that Forest Whitaker is the most skilled actor in the world today. The reason why he is not more recognized as such is due to several factors: His appearance limits the parts he can play, his recognition as a director has overshadowed his acting career somewhat, and, most important, he is so skilled as an actor that when one sees him in two different parts, one is tempted to think that one saw two different actors due to his skill in becoming the character he plays. Just take a look at THE COLOR OF MONEY, THE CRYING GAME, GOOD MORNING VIETNAM, and A RAGE IN HARLEM, just to name a few. Respectively, he plays the guy who hustles Paul Newman, the captured British soldier, Robin Williams' sidekick, and a naive, religious patsy.
However, the buzz I have heard that, in THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, his skills will finally be recognized by the general publlc. I would like to hear from people who have seen the movie, to see if they agree.