Fences: Movie Review

Katelin Brito '18, Editor in Chief

The movie Fences, released on December 15, 2016 is a PG-13 drama film directed by Denzel Washington based on the play (by the same name) written by August Wilson. This film was based off of Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play in which he was fortunate enough to complete before he passed away in 2005. The movie stars acclaimed actors Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, among others.

Fences is a story which focuses on the life of Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington), an African American sanitation worker who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the 1950s. He once aspired to become a professional baseball player, but was prohibited by doing so because of the racial discrimination which then defined the time. Due to the resentment he feels over his missed opportunity, Troy prohibits his own son, Cory, from meeting a college football recruiter, despite his son’s immense talent. It is this conflict which lies at the center of the story.

Soon after its release, Fences gained acclaim for both its dramatic and inspiring plot line, as well as for the immense talent of the actors involved. According to imdb.com, earning four out of five stars, Fences was acclaimed for being “real,” “powerful and beautifully written,” and “excellent.” Critics, adults, and young adults praised the movie, as emphasized by one Fandango reviewer who said Fences “may have been the best movie I’ve seen all year.”

At the 74th Annual Golden Globes Awards, which took place on January 8th on NBC, Fences was nominated in two categories: best actor in a drama motion picture for Washington, and best supporting actress in a drama motion picture for Davis. The film earned the latter award, with Davis winning the category against acclaimed actresses Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer, and Michelle Williams. Nominated twice before for her roles in The Help and How to Get Away with Murder, this was Davis’ first Golden Globe win.

Fences was truly breathtaking according to many fans and critics. The plot, scenery, and actors were just a small part of what made this movie award winning. “Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in,” as said by Troy’s best friend Bono (Stephen McKinley).