Fences [2016] ★★★½

 fencesPeople will talk about Denzel Washington’s performance in “Fences” for years to come, but that’s not the only reason why the movie works so well. This is a first-rate film in every aspect; wonderfully acted, beautifully shot and directed with a keen eye for detail. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed Washington’s work, both on and off the camera, and in “Fences’, he has finally reached the pinnacle of his colorful career. Legend has it that August Wilson (who wrote the original Pulitzer Prize-winning play), was planning to adapt his story for the big screen before his death in 2005. Now that Denzel Washington has put together all the missing pieces, audiences can finally savor this powerful tale of a family living in the 1950’s on the big screen. Washington plays Troy Maxson, a working class family man whose only concern is to provide for his wife and son, no matter what. He’s not the easiest man to warm up to, that’s for sure, and over the course of the movie, we discover more and more about his painful past. Part of the movie’s success is the richness of August Wilson’s screenplay. But all this wouldn’t mean a damn if the acting wasn’t so impeccable. And the supporting cast is perfectly chosen: From Stephen McKinley Henderson as Troy’s best pal Bono to Viola Davis as a devoted wife and mother, there are no weak links here. And at the center of it all is Washington himself; A lifetime in movies runs through his unforgettable performance. At the end, I think he has every reason to be proud of his film. It’s mesmerizing from start to finish.

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