Dearest Blog: Today it was off to Marquee Cinemas to spend the afternoon with my favorite leading man, Denzel Washington, doing double-duty as director and star of August Wilson's Fences.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers. A family in 1950s Pittsburgh struggles with an imperfect home life and its place in a changing world.
August Wilson's Fences is storytelling at its finest. It needs no bells or whistles to grab your attention and hold it tight. Leads Denzel Washington and Viola Davis are appearing on awards shortlists everywhere, but the entire cast is quite stellar enough to be mentioned in the same breath.
Washington--for my money, Hollywood's most magnetic leading man--also displays a deft touch in a rare outing behind the camera. Sets/locations are few and simple, retaining the feel of the movie's stage origins.
The story is so real that it's often as difficult to watch as it is impossible to look away, becoming especially tense as the household grows increasingly contentious. Fences is a mature film that doesn't always have to be pretty to be beautiful.
Fences clocks in at 138 minutes and is rated PG13 for "thematic elements, language, and some suggestive references."
Fences is a smart, wordy outing for grownups, deliberately paced but never dull.
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Fences gets eight.
Until next time...