Details from IMDB:

Fences (2016)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 2016 (USA)


A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.


Denzel Washington


August Wilson (screenplay), August Wilson (based upon his play “Fences”)

Initial Thoughts:
“Everyone loves Denzel” believe it or not that’s a line from the TV show Angel (don’t bother to watch past the third season) and it’s true (or at least it should be). Denzel is an amazing actor and it’s great to see him directing (and starring in) another movie. I’ll watch anything with Denzel and as this one is nominated for Best Picture (Denzel for Best Director and Actor) I knew I had to see it before the Oscars.
Main Points:
I don’t want to give much away as the plot does have a couple of twists and turns (and kind of a surprise ending). I’ll just say it’s a great character study of African-American family in America during the 1950’s. Denzel plays Troy Maxson, a hard-working but deeply troubled man who certainly believes in the idea of “tough love.”  The pressures of his life, the regrets of his past and ultimately the mistakes he makes all cause those around him to be pushed away and yet somehow eventually come back into his life.
Everyone in this movie gives a great performance, Denzel of course but also Viola Davis is just amazing. A great, straight-forward plot, still keeps you guessing about what will happen next and while a lot of the scenes I couldn’t personally relate to, they are done with such realism and emotion that you feel you are there right along with them.
The film shows racism as it was in the 1950’s (and how he fights against it)  along with what it does to Troy and how it has at least partially broken his spirit. The movie revolves (mostly) around Troy and with Denzel there, he can easily pull it off. Like one the characters says “he just filled up t.he house.” There is also a stark display of how someone with mental illness is treated by society and what everyone does in the Maxson family (and most of the neighborhood) to help. From what I know of history it also accurately shows but how the 50’s were (for most people) a simple and safe time along with the changes that came in society and how the next generation strived to do better (or at least different) than their parents.
Final Thoughts:

The film is PG-13 for a reason, there is some violence and plentiful use of the N word. For that reason please don’t bring children, ages 14+ I would think. I love this movie and I would highly recommend it. I give it a very strong 8.5 out of 10. I’m not ashamed to admit that the ending brought tears to my eyes and while I’m not sure it’s the best picture I think Denzel deserves Best Actor and Best Director here. Until next time (which could be a book review).