Fences Review

Being a huge Graham Norton fan I watch his show every single week, I saw Denzel Washington talking about his latest and greatest film with Viola Davies. Having the two in a film together? A match made in movie heaven.

Fences has been performed on the stage since 1987 and became a hit. Denzel Washington, who starred in 2010 revival took the play and took it to the screen. The cast includes four other actors that joined him on stage in 2010.

Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) works hard for his family to provide them with food on the table and clothes on their back. Like many men he had a dream, he yearned to be a professional baseball player but was denied too old. His bitterness and resentment is taken out on his youngest son Cory (Jovan Adepo). The emotional damaged Troy refuses to come to terms with his loss. The movie deals with various issues from the 1950s, but most importantly the family unit making the story a truly gripping tale.

Quite deservingly the film was nominated for four academy awards including best actor and actress for Davies and Washington. A.O Scott of The New York Times describes Washington’s performance as ‘if you closed your eyes and just listened to “Fences” you would hear a verbal performance of unmatched force and nuance.’ Even the monologues from Washington make you hang on every word he says in the film. I was completely gripped from start to finish by his performance and I would recommend this film to anyone.

As said by Washington while on The Graham Norton Show, while performing the play on Broadway members of the audience would almost feel apart of the narrative and get up and express their emotions while the show was still happening. Including when Troy first brings his baby home, Washington said a woman in the audience got up and said ‘oh Denzel…’ While sitting in the cinema I understood what he was talking about, the audience’s reaction while in the theatre was extraordinary. The cries, the laughter, and the judgemental noises made were nothing like I have ever heard before while watching a film. The emotion may be overwhelming at times, but this may be one of the best films of the year due to the actor’s performances alone.


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