Best Picture Nominee — Fences
We're moving closer to the Academy Awards. There's nine Best Picture nominees, and prior to the big day I'm taking an in-depth look at each. Today that continues with an adaptation of a stage play.
Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, and Mykelti Williamson
Director: Denzel Washington
Total Nominations: Four
Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actor (Washington), Best Supporting Actress (Davis), Best Adapted Screenplay (August Wilson)
About: This is adapted from Wilson's stage play, and he completed the screenplay before he passed away in 2005. Washington, Davis and much of the rest of the cast performed the play on Broadway, and decided to bring it to theaters. It's a beautifully told rendition of the story, full of powerful performances and ideas that captured a certain point-of-view in a certain time in our country's history. This probably isn't the most mass appeal film nominated for Best Picture, and it's one that's slide under the radar after its Christmas Day release. But it is a powerful film. That being said, it's hard to see it rising to the heap in the Best Picture category. But that doesn't mean it will be shut out on Oscar night. There's a lot of competition, but I like Davis to potentially take home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She's my favorite in the category, and I think she could be recognized for her powerful work. It's not uncommon for the Academy to like to spread the wealth, where possible, among the year's top films. Likewise, you could make a case for Washington as Best Actor. Personally I think he's third behind Ryan Gosling and Casey Affleck, but stranger things have happened. Wilson feels like a long-shot, too, though the adaptation from stage to screen works well here. This is a movie that was brilliantly put together and a great piece of art, and I have a sneaking suspicion it takes home at least one award on Oscar Sunday.
Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references.
Verdict: Four stars out of four.
Where to See It: "Fences" is now playing in theaters nationwide.