Movie Review | “Fences” 2016

by Mica Wilhite

fences“Fences” is based on the 1983 Pulitzer Prize winning play by August Wilson. In 1987, it made its Broadway debut and swept the Tonys winning Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Director awards. The play was revived in 2010 with the lead role of Troy being played by Denzel Washington and Rose being played by Viola Davis. Washington won the Tony for Best Actor and Davis won Best Actress and the production won Best Revival of a Play.

That lengthy dossier of awards would be enough to lure any cinematic aficionado to their nearest theater to enjoy Wilson’s authentically human story. But theater scripts are not always well translated to the cinema, so it is important to know that the making of “Fences” (the movie) was delayed all these years as the producers searched for the right director. In fact, it is reported that Wilson held out on letting film production begin until a suitable African- American director could be found. Washington is that right director because of how reliably and skillfully he transforms Wilson’s “soul-writing” from stage to screen.

“Fences” is not about spoiler alerts or stunning computer animation or record box office receipts. It is 133 minutes of expertly crafted dialogue that is delivered at an authentic pace with performances by actors who fully inhabit their characters. Troy is the protagonist and his marriage to Rose and his paternal role with their son Cory are the relations that give the story its traction and profound meaning.

“Fences” is showing at the Marshall Cinema with a PG-13 rating for language and
some suggestive references.  Call (903) 935-5662 or visit for a full list of show times. Then, go see this film and decide for yourself if the fence Rose wants Troy to build keeps bad things out or good things in.

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