Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fences features incredible performances by Denzel Washington and Viola Davis

Movie Title:  Fences

Grade:  A

Rating: PG-13, 133 minutes

In a Nutshell:  The Pulitzer-winning source material has already earned some awards for literature, on Broadway and now on the Big Screen.  

The book, stage play, and film are all a powerful look at life in the 50’s for African-Americans, as well as the emotional and physical Fences surrounding one family in particular.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Family, hard work, love, sacrifice, marriage, forgiveness, respect, duty, guilt, life/death, friendship
  • “Some people build fences to keep people out and some people build fences to keep people in.” – Bono (Stephen Henderson)
  • “You are responsible for what you do.” - Bono

Things I liked:
  • Denzel Washington is truly amazing.  Wow, how many lines did he have to memorize?  Holy moly!  Super impressive.  He needs to start preparing his Oscar acceptance speech right now. He also directed the film.  Well done, Denzel.  Well done.  If you could see me right now, you'd see me give you a standing ovation.
  • Viola Davis gives a very strong performance next to Denzel, quite possibly an Oscar performance.
  • Troy's speech about death in the beginning was hilarious.
  • I love how Rose shows her love by immediately offering everyone food the second they walk in her door.
  • Mykelti Williamson is excellent as Gabriel.  His trumpet playing at the end was awesome, although a bit cheesy.  As he said, "That's the way that go."
  • The brilliant script has so much flavor that you can almost taste it. The story gets thicker and thicker as the movie goes on.
  • I'm sure we'll see a lot more work from Jovan Adepo, who really peaks at the end of the movie as Cory.
  • It didn't feel like a play.

Things I didn’t like:
  • Audiences unfamiliar with the 1983 August Wilson play need to know that this is not a big action movie.  It’s a “talking” movie with incredible character development.
  • This is a long, heart-wrenching movie that will leave you feeling exhausted.  It's not an easy film to watch; it's extremely effective in making you feel uncomfortable with torn emotions.

Interesting lines:
  • “There ain’t never been no time called too early.” – Troy (Denzel Washington)
  • “Ya gotta take the crookeds with the straights.” - Troy 
  • “I didn’t know what I was gonna do, but I knew the time had come to leave my daddy’s house.  Suddenly, the world got big.” – Troy
  • “It’s not easy for me to admit I’ve been standing in the same place for 18 years.” - Troy
  • "I told ya, a watched pot never boils." - Rose
  • "Disrespecting your daddy ain't gonna make you a man, Cory." - Rose

Funny lines:
  • About the lottery: “Troy, you know I don’t play foolishly. I just play a nickel here and a nickel there.” – Rose
“That’s two nickels you done throw away.” - Troy

Tips for parents: 
  • There are a lot of racist terms like the “N” word, “colored”, “white man”, “crackers”.
  • Some profanity.
  • This is not a "feel good" movie for children.  There are adult themes with drinking, adultery, crime.

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