Fences is a drama directed by Denzel Washington and stars Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney, Viola Davis and Denzel Washington. The film is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name which was written by August Wilson. The story focuses on Troy (Denzel Washington), a 53-year-old man providing for his family by working as a waste collector while struggling with his failure in the past to make it as a professional baseball player. Troy believes that this was down to the colour of his skin rather than his age.
My Knowledge and Expectation of Fences
This is a film that was nominated for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. In the midst of the other films that got nominated for that award, it went under the radar in terms of how people viewed its chances to win. Obviously, Best Picture went to Moonlight but Fences was never seriously talked about as having a realistic chance to win. This surprised me, especially when you consider that the film has an award-winning play and great actors at its foundation. Certainly, Denzel Washington is one of my all-time favourite actors and Viola Davis is cementing her legacy as being one of the all-time best actresses. Hence, I was fascinated to see these two giants in acting give it their all.
My Thoughts on Fences
Fences floored me. This is a stunningly great film which at, its core, has superb performances and a gripping, heavy story. Truly, Fences has a very intimate feel due to the fact that the majority of the film takes place in one location (Troy’s house). While some have criticised this element of Fences, I loved it as it helps us form a deep connection to the characters in this film who themselves are brought to life through brilliant performances from the cast.
As we know, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis were both Oscar nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. They also played the same characters in the first Broadway revival of Fences. Evidently, they know how to play these characters and, in Fences, they provide the gravitas needed to make this film as powerful as it is. The acting by Washington and Davis is some of the best they have ever given and, at times, it is hard to watch as the levels that they went to in this film heavily impact you.
The script in this film is also phenomenal. The dialogue feels real, the story feels real and Fences deals with some profound themes such as poverty, regret, race and also mental illness when the film focuses on Gabriel, Troy’s brother. There are a lot of great elements within Fences and the overall film is fantastic. It is definitely one of my favourites from the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture and, if you are a film lover and appreciate brilliant acting, then you need to see Fences as soon as you can.