Video Guy reviews "FENCES" – Director/actor Denzel Washington's take on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by August Wilson (part of the author's ten-play cycle on his hometown of Pittsburgh.). To begin, if Washington and Viola Davis (at the very least), as well as Mykelti Williamson (best known as Bubba in Forrest Gump) are not on the Oscar list for these performances, there is no equality in Hollywood. Washington has already won a Tony award for his performance on stage, and his performance here is a thing of searing beauty. [Post-Oscar note: Having seen Casey Affleck’s performance, I still think Washington’s was more deserving.] The movie plays a lot like a stage play would: limited settings (Pittsburgh's North Side Hill District, where the film was shot); dialog-driven (potent, and hard to hear/watch at times for the emotional rawness). As a Pittsburgh native and coming from a family headed by a strong patriarch, this film touched me (often uncomfortably) on a personal level. That's okay. As I get older, and I’m watching with my spouse, I find myself seeking out lighter fare more often...just to protect my/our psyches. However, it's hard to miss these exceptional kinds of films, where the craft of filmmaking (especially the acting and directing) are on such fine display.
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