“Movies based on plays don’t often work. By design, plays often have to be limited in what physical locations they visit. The actors fill the stage, and it all works out. But when you take that small scale onto the big screen, it often feels claustrophobic. However, with the text is rich enough to permeate the entire screen and the performances are so strong and overpowering (in a good way), then you don’t have the space translation problem. You have a fantastic piece of cinema.

Adapted from August Wilson’s Tony winning play, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reprise their Tony winning roles as a family in the 50’s trying to deal with the struggles of racial oppression and poverty. Sound heavy? Oh yeah, it is. Very much so, but damn is it incredible to watch.

Denzel is tied for front runner of the best actor race. I’ve been going back and forth on my pick, but he’s absolutely deserving. The dialog is so dense and non-stop and he handles it like the pro that he is. Viola, almost a lock to win supporting actress (though you could argue that she really should be lead), brings such an intense level of emotion. Need I say anything else to plug this film?

Fences – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

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