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Fences (2016)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 2016 (USA)
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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 by), (based upon his play "Fences")
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 52 wins & 107 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Troy Maxson
... Rose Maxson
... Jim Bono (as Stephen McKinley Henderson)
... Cory
... Lyons
... Gabriel
... Raynell
... Deputy Commissioner
... 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

Taglines:

Some people build fences to keep people out - and other people build fences to keep people in.

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:

Official Site

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barreras  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$129,462, 16 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$57,642,961, 24 March 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$64,098,857, 20 March 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Lila & Eve (2015), a recurring line is that Viola Davis' character has 'a date with Denzel' meaning she's staying home watching movies starring Denzel Washington. One year later she actually plays his wife in this film. See more »

Goofs

When Troy and Bono are talking in 1956, a tan 1955 Pontiac Chieftain two-door is parked at the curb. It has Buick Wildcat wheels from 1961. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bono: [riding their garbage truck job] Troy, you oughta stop that lyin'.
Troy: I ain't lyin'. The nigger had a watermelon this big. Talkin' about "What watermelon, Mr. Rand?" I liked to fell out... "What watermelon, Mr. Rand?" And it's sittin' there bigger than life.
Bono: What Mr. Rand said?
Troy: He said nuthin'. He figured the nigger too dumb to know he carryin' a watermelon, he wouldn't get no sense out of 'im. Trying to hide that great big watermelon under his coat. Afraid to let the white man see him...
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Connections

Referenced in Film '72: Episode #46.5 (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wear a Crown
Written by James Cleveland
Performed by James Cleveland (as Reverend James Cleveland)
Courtesy of Savoy Records, a division of Malaco Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful, engaging story, with superb performances
13 May 2017 | by See all my reviews

Pittsburgh, mid-1950s. Troy Maxson is a sanitation worker, working a shift with his best friend Jim Bono. Troy has been happily married to Rose for 18 years and they have a teenage son, Cory. Regularly popping in and out of their lives is Gabe, Troy's brother who suffered brain damage while fighting the Japanese in WW2, and Lyons, Troy's 34-year old son from a previous relationship. Troy was a baseball star in the late-1930s, playing in the Negro League, and still bears a grudge for his not being able to play Major League Baseball. He projects this, and other experiences, onto everyone around him, particularly Cory, who has the potential to be a football star. More than just influencing Cory's career prospects (adversely, it appears), Troy has a larger-than- life impact on the lives of everyone around him.

Wonderful, engaging film, directed by Denzel Washington. A character-driven drama with great depth, and some incredibly profound and emotional moments. Plot takes on several themes but in the end you are left with a great sense of family and how parents shape the lives of their children.

Excellent performances all round. I can't think of a recent movie where I've seen so many outstanding performances in one film. Denzel Washington is great as Troy, dominating the screen and the dialogue. He's in just about every scene and probably ends up with more than 60% of the dialogue in the movie.

However, despite Denzel Washington's larger-than-life presence, he is pipped in the performance stakes by Viola Davis. While Troy's character is pretty direct and uncomplicated, Rose's is much more nuanced, complex and evolving, and Viola Davis is brilliant as her. A powerful yet subtle performance and good enough to get Davis the 2017 Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Supporting cast are great too. The standout for me was Mykelti Williamson as the mentally-challenged Gabe. A difficult role, and one that can easily be botched, but Williamson does it very well, with a sensitive, convincing performance.

Brilliant, and certainly better than Moonlight. It should have been a contest between Fences and La La Land for the 2017 Best Picture Oscar.


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