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Fences (2016)

PG-13 | | Drama | 25 December 2016 (USA)
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A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.

Director:

Denzel Washington

Writers:

August Wilson (screenplay by), August Wilson (based upon his play "Fences")
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Popularity
2,267 ( 13)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 54 wins & 111 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Denzel Washington ... Troy Maxson
Viola Davis ... Rose Maxson
Stephen McKinley Henderson ... Jim Bono
Jovan Adepo ... Cory
Russell Hornsby ... Lyons
Mykelti Williamson ... Gabriel
Saniyya Sidney ... Raynell
Christopher Mele ... Deputy Commissioner
Lesley Boone ... Evangelist Preacher (as Leslie Boone)
Jason Silvis Jason Silvis ... Garbage Truck Driver
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Storyline

Troy Maxson makes his living as a sanitation worker in 1950s Pittsburgh. Maxson once dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but was deemed too old when the major leagues began admitting black athletes. Bitter over his missed opportunity, Troy creates further tension in his family when he squashes his son's chance to meet a college football recruiter. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people build fences to keep people out - and other people build fences to keep people in.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Site

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fences See more »

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$129,462, 16 December 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$57,642,961, 24 March 2017

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$64,098,857, 20 March 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Paramount Studios originally acquired the film rights to the play in 1987 with the involvement of Eddie Murphy, it was largely due to Murphy wanting to take on a more "serious" film role: that of 17-year-old Cory. However, in 1987, Murphy was already a full decade older than the character of Cory, and the many filming delays meant that Murphy quickly aged out of eligibility for the role. See more »

Goofs

When Cory appears in 1962 in his Marine Corps dress blues, he has the Vietnam Service Ribbon, not established until 1965. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bono: [riding their garbage truck job] Troy, you oughta stop that lyin'.
Troy: I ain't lyin'. The nigger had a watermelon this big. Talkin' about "What watermelon, Mr. Rand?" I liked to fell out... "What watermelon, Mr. Rand?" And it's sittin' there bigger than life.
Bono: What Mr. Rand said?
Troy: He said nuthin'. He figured the nigger too dumb to know he carryin' a watermelon, he wouldn't get no sense out of 'im. Trying to hide that great big watermelon under his coat. Afraid to let the white man see him...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Honest Trailers: The Oscars (2017) (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

You Don't Know What Love Is
Written by Gene de Paul & Don Raye
Performed by Dinah Washington
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis' finest hours
22 December 2016 | by RamascreenSee all my reviews

When you pair up Denzel Washington with Viola Davis on screen, you know you're in for two of the most outstanding performances you'll see all year and that's exactly what you get from FENCES. That said, if only director Denzel Washington and his crew could've figured out some ways to lessen the stage play feel to it and make this seem more cinematic. But then again, breaking out of that format is indeed usually the challenge when dealing with straight up adaptations from stage plays, just like "August: Osage County" a few years ago.

Scripted by August Wilson, adapted by Wilson's own Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Denzel Washington plays an African-American father struggling with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s. He's still bitter from his doomed baseball career in the past, blames it on the white man, so when his son tries to get into sports, he discourages him, telling him that the white man wouldn't give him a single opportunity out there in the field. Denzel's character's wife, played by Viola Davis, faithfully stands by his side despite the secret that would change their family forever.

Story-wise, it doesn't get more well-thought out than FENCES, it's dialogue-driven, it's performance-driven, this material is every actor's dream come true because it has so many layers and it provides room for you to showcase the best version of your chops. We know Denzel and Viola Davis are phenomenal, but FENCES allows them to venture into places and show us shades that may not have been seen before. And I'm sure it feels liberating for all the actors involved in this film to just dig deep down, tap into those emotions and lay them bare for the world to see, and there's no wrong way of doing it.

The conflicts in FENCES are powerful, like a fist through a wall. Nuances surround the characters so you end up understanding where they're coming from despite being in agreement or disagreement with many of their decisions. To a certain extent, I think Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin fans would find FENCES appealing since each of the characters has incredibly long lines that run like 100 mph. Marital affair, resentments, built up hatred, forgiving your past, there's no shortage of drama in FENCES, its cup overflows. But again, as I said earlier, I think there's a missed opportunity here, the film just didn't do enough to make itself appear cinematic. Composer Marcelo Zarvos' music is almost non-existent. Forget the backseat, many of film's elements are practically locked up in the trunk.


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