A timeless story of human self-discovery and connection, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.
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Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband's historic legacy.
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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
I may be the only person on earth comparing new race-drama Fences with 2009's superhero epic Watchmen, but hear me out. Both are based on acclaimed, non-film works (stage-play, comics); both are big, dramatic period-piece social stories; and despite their noble intentions and commitment to their sources, neither transfer as films. In what is only one step beyond a filming of the stage-play itself, Fences is a high school acting competition, with each performer delivering monologues with clockwork precision but with little connectivity. This is far from entirely the performers' faults. Most of the cast is the same from the most recent Broadway-run about this troubled 1950s black family. And while they were probably great on stage, the ultra-dramatics and super-written-feeling dialogue are ham-fisted on the big screen. Notably, the actors still have their moments. Adepo and Hornsby are standouts, and Davis is so great she even pulls off some blatant Oscar-clip moments. Unfortunately, they are asked to deliver some distractingly soap-operatic tragedies with impossible naturalism. At the center of all of this is director and star Washington, who despite his decent acting performance must take the blame overall. As the (perhaps warranted) bitter-old-man at the center of this tragedy train, he basically never stops talking, both verbally and in direction. Telling stories he's definitely told before and spouting off constant baseball metaphors, all I could think was how crazy it would drive me to be his friend. Worse yet, there's a dangerous message about abuse that is played off more like a character quirk than a problem. Fences is an occasionally stirring American period-piece whose troublesome & obnoxiously melodramatic awards-bait fodder becomes more-than-a-bit grating.
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