Fences

Short Cuts: Denzel Washington has taken the searing lyricism of August Wilson's Fences and put it on screen with the play's length edited a bit but with no harm rendered to its classic beauty. Washington and co-star Viola Davis reprise their Tony-winning performances as a middle-aged black couple in 1950s Pittsburgh who find their worlds being changed by forces they are not fully prepared to face. In this regard, the eponymous fence symbolizes safety from threats both societal and spiritual; it's a brilliant metaphor. Yes, as with many other 20th century African American literary works, Fences examines "deferred dreams" but without a hint of sentimentality or artifice. It's a powerful film.

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