The acting in Fences is superb and all the accolades coming Denzel Washington and Viola Davis’s way are well deserved. They can get all the Oscars in the world as far as I’m concerned. The problem I had with the film is that it was a play up on the big screen. After awhile, this very long film (2 hours and 19 minutes) got to me with all the talking. At least on stage, there would have been an intermission to break it up. I am somewhat surprised that the screenwriters did not create more of a story as opposed to giving us what I assume was pretty much word for word the over 25,000 words of the play. I would have preferred that along with the important soliloquies and major dramatic moments of the play, that there had been some flashbacks or other techniques to engage us in the story.
That being said, there are so many powerful moments in this film that in conjunction with the acting makes it one of the better movies of the year. Viola Davis being able to cry and have snot coming from her nose at the same time is an Oscar winning performance if I ever saw one. I think it is difficult to take a play and make it work on the big screen and this one has its issues but along the way, there is some glorious dialogue and amazing acting. It is well worth seeing.
A Few Quick Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations:
- Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea – he is amazing
- Much more diverse set of nominations which are all well deserved
- By and large, the best films and performances are being honored
- No Amy Adams for best actress? She has been nominated by every other major group and deserved a nod
- Thought Hugh Grant would have received a nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins. His performance was deserving and recognized by the other major groups
- Deadpool clearly did not resonate with the old white Oscar voters – too bad
- No Taraji P. Henson? Great job in Hidden Fences
My Wish list – Outside possibilities that I wished for
- Viggo Mortensen got his Best Actor nomination but would have loved to see Captain Fantastic get a best picture nod
- Would have loved for Sonny Pawar to have been nominated for “Lion”. He made the movie
- Wasn’t going to happen but I thought Chris Pine was better than Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water
- My favorite foreign films of the year both came from New Zealand and weren’t nominated – “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” and “The Dark Horse”