Fences – 7.7

A powerful drama, lifted almost intact from the stage. This seemed a problem at first – the staginess of all the action transpiring on the backyard lot, the declamations in place of conversation – but the sheer humanity of the characters, and their problems, won us over. When Denzel Washington defended his affair by saying, in effect, that it was releasing so much that was cooped up inside him, and his wife, Viola Davis, responded, But what about me and my needs?, emotional cords reverberated, onscreen and off. The cast, as in a play, was small, which allowed us to know, and understand, how they all fit together. In the end, I’m sure this is still better as a play, but the production was a noble effort and should earn Davis, at least, an Oscar nomination.

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