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Fences (2016)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 2016 (USA)
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In 19 theaters near Ashburn VA US [change]

A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.

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(screenplay), (based upon his play "Fences")
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 33 wins & 91 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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...
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Jim Bono (as Stephen McKinley Henderson)
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Cory
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Lyons
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Gabriel
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Raynell
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Deputy Commissioner
Lesley Boone ...
Evangelist Preacher (as Leslie Boone)
Jason Silvis ...
Garbage Truck Driver
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Storyline

Troy Maxson makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son's chance to meet a college football recruiter. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on play | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barriere  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$129,462 (USA) (16 December 2016)

Gross:

$43,132,362 (USA) (12 January 2017)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was playwright August Wilson's first ever screenplay of one of his own acclaimed plays. See more »

Goofs

Since the son's varsity jacket has 1956 on the back, he must have been referring to 1955 as "last baseball season." He mentioned that Sandy Koufax led the league in strikeouts. In fact, Koufax was a rookie in 1955, appeared in only a few games and struck out only 30 batters. He didn't become a dominating pitcher until 1961, when he led the National League in strikeouts for the first time. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Gabriel: King of the Jungle.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 74th Golden Globe Awards (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis' finest hours
22 December 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When you pair up Denzel Washington with Viola Davis on screen, you know you're in for two of the most outstanding performances you'll see all year and that's exactly what you get from FENCES. That said, if only director Denzel Washington and his crew could've figured out some ways to lessen the stage play feel to it and make this seem more cinematic. But then again, breaking out of that format is indeed usually the challenge when dealing with straight up adaptations from stage plays, just like "August: Osage County" a few years ago.

Scripted by August Wilson, adapted by Wilson's own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Denzel Washington plays an African-American father struggling with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s. He's still bitter from his doomed baseball career in the past, blames it on the white man, so when his son tries to get into sports, he discourages him, telling him that the white man wouldn't give him a single opportunity out there in the field. Denzel's character's wife, played by Viola Davis, faithfully stands by his side despite the secret that would change their family forever.

Story-wise, it doesn't get more well-thought out than FENCES, it's dialogue-driven, it's performance-driven, this material is every actor's dream come true because it has so many layers and it provides room for you to showcase the best version of your chops. We know Denzel and Viola Davis are phenomenal, but FENCES allows them to venture into places and show us shades that may not have been seen before. And I'm sure it feels liberating for all the actors involved in this film to just dig deep down, tap into those emotions and lay them bare for the world to see, and there's no wrong way of doing it.

The conflicts in FENCES are powerful, like a fist through a wall. Nuances surround the characters so you end up understanding where they're coming from despite being in agreement or disagreement with many of their decisions. To a certain extent, I think Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin fans would find FENCES appealing since each of the characters has incredibly long lines that run like 100 mph. Marital affair, resentments, built up hatred, forgiving your past, there's no shortage of drama in FENCES, its cup overflows. But again, as I said earlier, I think there's a missed opportunity here, the film just didn't do enough to make itself appear cinematic. Composer Marcelo Zarvos' music is almost non-existent. Forget the backseat, many of film's elements are practically locked up in the trunk.


12 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Over Use of N-Word choppy527
Why Troy keep staring at the broken window in the upstairs apartment? benkarkis
Had A Hard Time Getting Past The Play Trappings sfh_panther
Year on Cory,s varsity jacket? ksipod
Ramberling allenandrew
I wanted to give Denzel the osacr just from that trailer. megamatt6000
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