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Fences

Rated Parental Guidance (Language Warning, Mature Theme) ~ Runs 139 minutes

Dir.: Denzel Washington, US

Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby

Golden Globe & Academy Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress

“You won’t find many films this year as powerful as Denzel Washington’s Fences. Washington and his costar Viola Davis first wrestled with August Wilson’s great American play in a 2010 revival on Broadway. It’s a brutal piece, full of secrets and lies, foolish pride and fatherly guilt, and the unspoken compromises that couples make to keep the peace. Fences tells the story of Troy Maxson, a Pittsburgh garbageman who comes home from work every day, bone-tired, thirsty for gin, and happy to see his wife, Rose, who’s usually in the kitchen wearing an apron and a smile. It’s the ’50s, and it’s clear who the boss of the household is. And just in case it isn’t, Troy lets everyone know, including his jazz-musician son, Lyons, whom he considers a freeloader. As Troy frequently points out in one of his blustery sermons about self-reliance, his sweat and labor are responsible for the roof over everybody’s head. Washington doesn’t get too flashy behind the camera. And that feels right. Wilson’s characters and blue-collar milieu are so vivid, they don’t require any adornment... There’s plenty of that in the rich language. As Troy holds court in his cramped backyard, railing about injustices both big and small, Washington gradually turns him from a stern, all-bark patriarch into something close to a monster... Troy is a tragic figure, and Washington drills into his psyche like he’s prodding an exposed nerve. Davis, as his long-suffering wife who’s been bending so long she’s ready to break, responds with a ferocious slow-building intensity - she makes you feel Rose’s anguish in your guts. Wilson’s title refers to the fence that Troy is building around his backyard. It’s his way of keeping the harsh, unfair world out and protecting what’s his. But Troy can’t open his eyes - or his heart - enough to see that he’s also walling himself off from everyone who loves him. Washington and Davis’ performances do just the opposite. They invite us in to an intimate place that’s messy and painful and hard to shake. It’s as good as screen acting gets.” - Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly



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June 25