February 21, 2017
By Tiffany Skelnik
“Fences” is a film directed by and starring Denzel Washington. Washington plays Troy Maxim a man struggling with his own demons as he raises his family. The film is adapted from August Wilson’s play of the same name and is a 2017 Best Picture nominee.
The performances in this film are brilliant. Washington gives Maxim heart. Even though he is harsh to those around him, through Washington’s performance, the viewer can see the reasons behind it and the dedication Maxim shows in providing for his family. His scenes with Viola Davis as Rose and Jovan Adepo as Cory are particularly strong. It is clear from the beginning that this film is rooted in family and the cast is perfect in their roles.
It is clear why both Washington and Davis were nominated for their performances. The scenes that the two share are numerous and the best in the film.
Davis demonstrates both incredible strength and love for Maxim. Her feelings are clear and Rose’s growth in character is played with aplomb. Both Washington and Davis are incredible actors in their own right as well as in their shared scenes.
Adepo is not as seasoned as his costars, but it does not show in his performance. He can stand toe-to-toe with Washington and Davis and deliver a performance that is equally strong as anyone else’s in this film. He is one to watch.
“Fences” does not suffer in direction or script either. The screenplay was penned by August Wilson and the adaptation process was almost effortless. Washington steps into the director’s chair as well as the lead actor and his filmmaking choices only enhance the story.
This film may be slow for some due to its heavy dialogue and light action but it is still a worthy nominee for Best Picture. I recommend seeing it.