Much has been said about this film adaptation of the Pulitzer winning play, Fences. While the film is certainly an Oscar contender, some people have criticized this film for feeling too theatrical. But I for one don’t mind.
Look at Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? or A Streetcar Named Desire. Both are unquestionably great films with phenomenal performances. And Fences can be described in that way, too.
Granted, it can be a little distracting at the beginning, with enough rapid-fire dialogue to give you whiplash. But as the film goes on, I got used to the film’s style. Denzel Washington does a good job of adapting this play to film while not losing any of the substance from the original material.
But outside of his direction, Denzel also turns in a truly magnificent performance in front of the camera. He turns his character into a three dimensional human being, one who the audience can get behind even though he is not always the most relatable. And as for Viola Davis… just give her the Oscar already. Seriously.
Fences is a very good film. It takes the foundation of one of the great American plays and adapts it well. While it’s not one of my personal favorites of the year, and it can come across as very simple and theatrical. I think Fences is well deserving of the praise it gets.