Denzel Washington is one of the five greatest actors of the last twenty years. His body of work is on par with Pacino, De Niro, DeCaprio, Clooney or anyone else from this era that you could name. His most recent film, “Fences,” is one of his most emotional and captivating performances ever. Just an incredible performance by this acting giant.
“Fences,” is based in the late 1950’s in Pittsburgh. Washington’s character Troy is a 53 year old sanitation worker who at the beginning of the movie appears to be a happy man. He has a loving wife, two grown sons, a house that he owns and a full time job as a sanitation worker. Little by little, the facade that Troy is perpetrating begins to crack. He is haunted by the demons of his childhood. He makes baseball references throughout the movie, as Troy was a Negro League baseball star who couldn’t make the big leagues despite his superior talent because of the color barrier Major League Baseball had instituted. He’s a bitter middle aged man who is angry with the world. As the film progresses, his anger becomes more and more transparent.
Viola Davis continues to shine each and every time she’s seen onscreen. Her role as Troy’s devoted wife Rose is once again, as Troy would put it, another one she hits out the park. Rose tries hard to keep peace between Troy and his sons, as well as constantly assuring Troy that she understands his bitterness. Yet despite all her love and support of Troy, she is almost broken by his ultimate betrayal. Yet, she refuses to be broken. She picks herself up and, like she’s always done, picks up the broken pieces of their lives and manages to remain brave and strong. African American women have been the most endearing and courageous people in the history of America. Rose’s strength is a testament to that legacy.
I will avoid anymore spoilers. I highly recommend this movie. “Fences,” is the single, best film I’ve seen this year. The movie, Denzel and Davis all deserve Oscar nominations. The young girl that plays Denzel’s daughter at the end of the movie, Saniyya Sidney is so precocious and adorable. Her presence brings love to all the characters in the movie at a time when its needed most. Mykelti Williamson is also phenomenal as Troy’s mentally regarded brother. A five star classic.