Google+

Viola Davis Delivers Oscar-Winning Performance in Adaptation of August Wilson Classic

 

Fences,  Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams, Denzel Washington, Mykelti Williamson, Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, racism, Viola Davis, August Wilson ClassicFences

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Viola Davis Delivers Oscar-Winning Performance in Adaptation of August Wilson Classic

Back in 1987, Fences won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. The August Wilson classic, set in the Pittsburgh in the Fifties, chronicled the day-to-day struggle of a blue-collar, African-American family. The production was brought back to Broadway in 2010, and it landed the Tony for Best Revival in addition to ones for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories.

Directed by Denzel, this adaptation reunites him with Viola (in an  Oscar-winning performance) and the rest of the principal cast, including Mykelti Williamson, Stephen Henderson and Russell Hornsby. This faithful version of the Wilson masterpiece doesn’t attempt to amplify the original beyond a few tweaks made in service of the cinematic medium.

The story revolves around the unenviable trials and tribulations of Troy (Washington), a 53 year-old garbage man who aspires to someday being promoted to truck driver. Trouble is, he’s “colored,” and that relatively-lofty position has, to date, been strictly reserved for whites. So, Troy and his BFF/co-worker Bono (Stephen Henderson) have to settle for grumbling about the racism that has kept them at the bottom of the totem pole.

Now Troy didn’t always have such modest dreams. In his youth, he’d exhibited promise as a baseball player. However, his hope of turning pro disappeared in a flash the day he was sent up the river for committing a murder. He did still try out for the major leagues when he was paroled at 40, but that belated attempt proved to be little more than an exercise in futility.

As a result, Troy tends to soak his woes in alcohol, drinking hard liquor straight from the bottle. This doesn’t sit well with his long-suffering wife, Rose (Davis), who is understandably worried her man might drink himself to death. The picture’s other pivotal characters include the couple’s teenage son (Jovan Adepo), Troy’s trifling adult son (Hornsby) from his first marriage, and Troy’s mentally-challenged brother, Gabe (Williamson), a wounded World War II vet left with a metal plate in his head.

The plot thickens when Troy informs Rose that he not only has a mistress but has knocked her up, to boot. Will this be the proverbial last straw that finally breaks the back of their shaky relationship? After all, putting up with an underachieving alcoholic is one thing, a flagrant philander, quite another.

Reviving familiar roles which are obviously second nature to them, veterans Denzel and Viola again turn in emotionally-provocative performances. A poignant period piece painting a plausible picture of black life in the inner city prior to the advent of the Civil Rights Movement.

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated  PG-13 for profanity, ethnic slurs, mature themes and sexual references

Running time: 138 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Home Entertainment

Blu-ray Extras: Feature film in high definition; Expanding the Audience: From Stage to Screen; The Company of Fences; Building Fences: Denzel Washington; Playing the Part: Rose Maxson; and August Wilson’s Hill District.

To order a copy of Fences on Blu-ray, visit: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01LTI0KQA/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

Source:  GIG News

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for May 23, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for May 23, 2017 Get Out                https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06WW76HBM/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Shake the Dust https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XRJ27W5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 My Life as a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

  Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama  by David J. Garrow William Morrow Hardcover, $45.00 1472 pages ISBN: 978-0-06-264183-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first … [Read More its Good For You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Castles in America

  Castles in America by Amy Lignor   Robin Leach and his “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” taught us all long ago that we absolutely love to sit and view ridiculous luxury (usually owned by people who inherited all of it and didn’t work a day in their lives). See that? We had to complain about something as we were beguiled by the amount … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Stunning Stenberg!

  Amandla Stenberg The “Everything, Everything” Interview with Kam Williams Stunning Stenberg! Amandla Stenberg first gained recognition for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson. After the success of that film, Amandla earned the 2012 Teen Choice Award with Jennifer for Best … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

How to Build and Fish a Crappie Condo

  How to Build and Fish a Crappie Condo When warm weather hits, the crappie start biting. Depending on the region, after the spawn around April or May till the first cold front rolls through in the Fall, these tasty panfish are easy to find, usually congregating around brush piles that house the plankton and baitfish that make up the food … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme

  A Sport Where You Feel the Thrill Without Going to the Extreme by Amy Lignor   There are many sports “fanatics” out there who literally dive head-first into an extreme sport in order to get their adrenaline pumping – taking on a sport that comes hand-in-hand with a monumental amount of risk. But for those who are not interested in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama

  Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama  by David J. Garrow William Morrow Hardcover, $45.00 1472 pages ISBN: 978-0-06-264183-0 Book Review by Kam Williams “Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

It’s Time to Travel to These Wonders of the World that May Soon Disappear

  It’s Time to Travel to These Wonders of the World that May Soon Disappear by Amy Lignor   When it comes to travel, there are many locations you and your family should take the chance to see. However, there are also a few that should be seen now, before they become listed among the “missing” Wonders of the World. It is a fact, no … [Read More its Good for You...]