I am a few years behind on this movie. “Fences” directed by Denzel Washington, starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington, two of the best actors in Hollywood, you know this one was going to be good.
This movie was tough to watch. Troy Maxon is a sanitation worker in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. He is married and raising a son. His relationship with his youngest son is very strained and he is raising him the best way he knows how. He has a grown son from another mother. His brother was injured during World War II and has a metal plate in his head. Family life is complicated and messy.
I understand that the struggle is real. There are lots of difficult life choices that you make and there are consequences for those choices. The hardest thing to watch was the way he treated his youngest son and how he thought that was the only way to treat him to ensure he made something of himself.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Hurt people hurt people”? You can see that as clear as day in Troy’s broken relationship with his own estranged father, and then he pushes away his own son the same way to toughen him up. There has to be a better way.
I waited to watch this movie because of the heaviness. I knew it wasn’t a movie you watch to escape reality; to be thrilled, and then move on with life. It was a deep movie with lots of different things to chew on and look at in your own life.
Not only does the movie focus on the meaning of fatherhood and raising children, but it also touches on questions about how to care for your own self to be able to give to those you love. There are themes of marriage and co-dependency and what is healthy and what is too much.
The acting was superb. Viola Davis won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Denzel Washington was nominated for Best Actor. I would disagree with voters who chose Casey Affleck in “Manchester By the Sea” as a better choice. August Wilson, screenwriter of the play, “Fences” that preceded the film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (posthumously). The film was nominated in the Best Picture category.
This film was very well done. It is deep. There are some mature themes. The acting was excellent. For all of these reasons, you should watch this film if you haven’t seen it already.