‘Fences’ is a Ferocious, Intimate Oscar-Contending Film: Cogill

"Fences" began as an award-winning Broadway play in the 1980s and again in 2010. It is now a ferocious, intimate, Oscar-contending film opening Christmas day.

"Fences" is a triumphant symphony of words that takes place in Pittsburgh in the 1950's. The story centers around, Troy, a bitter husband and father played Oscar-level by Denzel Washington.

A garbageman of broken dreams who takes his anger and frustration out on those closest to him, including his invisible son played-well by, Jovan Adepo.

This authoritative father figure has a lot to say in, "Fences," and at times the dialogue rolls off his tongue like fireworks. But he's not the only one in this troubled home with hopes and dreams. He may be the loudest voice in the room, but his wife, played by Viola Davis, also aches to be heard.

August Wilson won a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize for writing "Fences," and yes, this Denzel directed film version may feel a bit stage bound (or backyard bound) but highly honors the playwright's gift of dialogue. You don't hear words like this in movies very often.

Movies like "Fences" are rare and need to be celebrated and in Denzel Washington's capable hands, respected. This is an emotional film with segregation as a seething backdrop and family flare ups at every turn.

"Fences" is a profound examination of the 20th century African American experience written by a genius and performed by some of the best actors on the planet.

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