Order by:

Add your comment

Do you want to let us know what you think? Just login, after which you will be redirected back here and you can leave your comments.

Comments 1 - 8 of 8

frankqb's avatar

frankqb

A constricting, emotional film about parenting and inter-generational trauma, controlling people, living your own life and lost hopes and dreams.

Denzel's direction keeps the film tightly wound as we feel trapped in the very world we find we want to escape. Any moment there's a scene outside the backyard, we feel we might be free of the vice, but then it always comes back.

There is so much to unpack in this film, and the dialogue is so crackling fast that it's hard to follow at times, but it's oddly visceral in its tension and the acting is out of this world. That said, the film does border on repetition and tedium at times.

4 stars out of 5
5 years 8 months ago
Siskoid's avatar

Siskoid

August Wilson's play Fences does not, as a screenplay, ever feel like anything other than a play. Its limited locations (the house and yard, very seldom does director Denzel Washington take us anywhere else) and almost exhaustingly talky script consistently remind you of the story's roots. Nevertheless, Fences is a layered work drawing a portrait of African-American reality in the post-war 40s, both general and specific to its complex characters, supported by strong performances from Washington and co-star Viola Davis. And despite the subject matter, it's also a universal story about inequity, bitter responsibility, father-son relationships, and more. The ambivalent protagonist, at once jocular and cruel, has been denied opportunity to often, he finds himself keeping his son from "swinging for the fences" as it were, but the play and film's message is ultimately one of hope for the minority's ambitions, arguably set far from pivotal moments in black history, but perhaps when these were first imagined. A bit too "artificial" to be truly effective emotionally, but there's a lot to unpack there.
5 years 7 months ago
georginagg's avatar

georginagg

The remarkable performancea and rich dialogues make this an unforgettable film.
5 years 8 months ago
kottonen's avatar

kottonen

The film is based on a play of the same name (one that Denzel Washington and Viola Davis have already performed in), and that brings the quality of sharpness and precision to the dialogue, as well as constricts the settings. The acting in Fences is beautiful, but the picture ends up being a character study and social commentary, rather than a solid cinematic experience.

The emotional culmination precedes the finale by so much that the ending feels lacklustre and disengaging. The protagonist, Washington's character, is allowed the complexity that no one else in the film seems to have. While Davis's heroine provides insights into the position of a Black housewife in the 1950s Pittsburgh, her place is in the background, secondary, quiet and suffering. That might be a meaningful artistic choice in itself, but it creates imbalance as far as the main characters are concerned.

Two other works came to my mind during the showing: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison and Solange's A Seat at the Table. Both are about the pervasive unfairness and inherited social structure of the Black slice of the American society. And while the men 'got a lot to be mad about', the women are not even allowed to be angry.

Certainly, a fascinating cultural work, but the uneven dramatic structure of Fences does it a disservice.
5 years 7 months ago
Camille Deadpan's avatar

Camille Deadpan

My favourite movie of 2016.
5 years 4 months ago
ntan's avatar

ntan

Academy Awards

Win: Best Supporting Actress for Viola Davis (very well-deserved, one of the best performances I've ever seen)

Nominations:
Best Actor for Denzel Washington - well-deserved also
Best Adapted Screenplay - should have won in my opinion, given that literally the entire thing is dialogue and the dialogue is sharp
Best Picture - There were much more deserving films in my opinion for this nomination, particularly Silence and maybe even Zootopia.
5 years 4 months ago
chunkylefunga's avatar

chunkylefunga

The first hour is a bit of a chore but the second act does pick up but the movie is still nothing special. Doubt anyone would watch it if Denzel wasn't in it.
5 years 8 months ago
Tiago Costa's avatar

Tiago Costa

1 /5
5 years 7 months ago
View comments