Viola Davis and Denzel Washington in Fences

Film: Fences with Denzel Washington

This is a enthusiastic repost, from my Stiletto Wheels blog, about the film, Fences with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis:

A couple of nights ago, I saw a Show Film First screening of Fences at MyVue in Leicester Square then, yesterday evening, I went across to attend a National Theatre Platform event with the film’s actor/producer, Denzel Washington.

Both events were hugely enjoyable, so glad I did that, occasions.

The film, Fences is based on the Black-American playwright August Wilson’s, possibly, greatest stage play – winning multiple Tony’s in a 2010 staging for the production and cast, most of whom are, now starring in the film.

I am a huge admirer of August Wilson but, without too much bias, I think it’s fair to say that this is play-writing that stands comparison with any of the great American, or other, playwrights.

The cast, in the film, are exemplary with performances of towering presence and grace – hard to single out a ‘best’ but Viola Davis and Denzel Washington both deserve their nominations for this year’s Oscars.

The film is beautifully produced, expanding the backyard theatre set just enough to add screen interest, and giving full rein to all the depth, subtlety, humour and nuance of the exquisite writing of August Wilson. To read more about August Wilson, click on the link or do a Google search.

Fences is a film that rewards your full attention by painting pictures in your mind with words being the colours on the tip of every spoken tongue and lip and your imagination the canvas for the brush. Wonderful.

In conversation, on stage at the National’s, completely full, Lyttleton Theatre, Denzel Washington, obviously a hugely popular and well-known actor, talked with charm and absolute focus about the film, his commission to produce all ten of August Wilson’s plays, his commitment to this project and his belief that, now, it is one of his life’s purposes, having been so blessed in his life, to give something back.

It was an absolute treat to hear him speak and feel the passion he has for the works of August Wilson and his drive to make them available to a wider audience. Also, his recognition this cannot be done unless people are willing to come to cinemas and theatres and pay to see them. Interesting take from a Hollywood actor who understands bums on seats get films made.

Personally and physically, he was as full of all the charm and grace you’d expect, his engagement with the project making him far more articulate and amusing than you might have thought from seeing him promote the latest blockbuster on TV chat shows, as well as being both thoughtful and knowledgeable about his subject – able to quote off-the-cuff from August Wilson works.

All in all, a couple of brilliant and inspirational evenings out.

I urge you all to go and see Fences at your local cinema, and note that Denzel Washington is definitely worth a trip out to hear, should he be speaking at a venue near you.

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