Fences – ☆☆☆☆☆
Director: Denzel Washington
Writer: August Wilson (screenplay and original play)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson
Nominated for 4 Academy Awards
Summary: A story of a man who’s raising his family during the 1950’s while dealing with past events in his life.
Absolutely theatrical. And of course it would be given that it was originally a play, which was then made a film by the same writer. Fences is a stroke of brilliance that has hit the silver screen, and I didn’t have my eyes peeled off this film for one moment.
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are the pride and joy of this film. Their characters both being so deeply complex and flawed in the most human way possible. There are no heroes in this film, as each character battles their own demons. However the sheer magnificence of this film was Denzel Washington’s ongoing streams of dialogue, so animatedly and passionately spoken that you hold on to every word he says leading to the next until he finally takes a his final bow and leaves you in awe of how someone can bring so much life into a character. Spoken like a poem, Denzel Washington steals the scenes, with the exception of Viola Davis’ award winning performance where without a shadow of a doubt will place her as an Oscar winner.
There is less focus on the colour or cinematography on this film, and instead places it’s characters in the centre, bringing out the best of their story. There’s a form of consistency in this film, as it isn’t concerned with elaborate wide shots of various locations, and keeps simple, picking a select few places where the story really takes place, drawing us more into this family’s story as we become familiar with their home and neighbourhood.
There isn’t a stale moment in this film, and each scene is brought to life the minute it cuts to the next. There are no cheap plot points or twists, as it’s story is so undoubtedly relatable in some way to anyone who watches it, you’re bound to attach yourself to one character at least.
Fences deserves the highest praise, for a gripping story that has your emotions riding a rollercoaster. It’s comforting that I end my Oscar best picture category watch with such a outstanding film, and leaves me with a peace of mind that it’s been a great year for film.