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Denzel Washington’s directorial outing “Fences” drops an intense First Trailer

A few hours ago, we got a first look at one of the season’s potentially biggest contenders. Yes, a First Trailer arrived for Fences, the adaptation of the Broadway show of the same name. Directed by and starring Denzel Washington, it may very well be one of the only contenders that can challenge La La Land for frontrunner status at the Academy Awards this year. We’ll get into its Oscar hopes later, and obviously you’ll be able to see the Trailer at the end of this piece, but first up, let us discuss the film a bit. Some of you might not be familiar with the play, and that’s perfectly alright. I’m here to help.

Again, the movie is a cinematic version of the stage play of the same name. The plot centers around an African American father named Troy (Washington) and the family he’s trying to raise in the 1950’s along with his wife Rose (Viola Davis). Troy struggles with race relations in the United States at the time, along with coming to terms with the various events of his life up until that point. The aforementioned Washington directs a script from the late playwright August Wilson, adapting his own work. The rest of the cast includes Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Saniyya Sidney, Mykelti Williamson, and many more. Cinematography is from Charlotte Bruus Christensen. The play won awards, so this definitely seems like a player, especially when you consider the Trailer that dropped.

fences washington davis
From the looks of the Trailer, Davis and Washington have two great parts to play. I’ve yet to really ever be blown away by Washington’s direction, so that will be the major question for me here, but the bit you can see looks more than solid here. I suspect that Davis will be heavily in play for Oscar attention, while Washington might have a slightly harder road, just due to already having two Academy Awards on his mantle. The work definitely looks good enough to contend though, and that’s what counts. Up until now, it’s been solely speculation, so hard evidence is always a plus in my book.

Awards wise, this is another contender with across the board potential. Unless it somehow isn’t critical acclaimed, look for Paramount Pictures to campaign it everywhere. Possible nominations include Best Picture, Best Director (for Washington), Best Actor (also for Washington), Best Actress (for Davis, unless she goes Supporting), Best Supporting Actor (for Henderson), Best Supporting Actress (for Davis, unless she stays Lead), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Wilson), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Hairstyling & Makeup, and Best Original Score. There’s a chance that we’re looking at double digit nominations for this one. Just keep that in mind, since to beat back something like La La Land, you really need this sort of widespread adoration, since that one already has it in its back pocket.

You’ll be able to see the Trailer below, but first, let me reiterate what a big player it seems like Fences is going to be. It was already, sight unseen, being put forward as a top five contender by some, so this will only fuel the buzz. Hot on the heels of Silence actually being a 2016 release, Paramount has shown off another of their big guns. It’s going to be an exciting season, and most likely we’ll avoid another #OscarsSoWhite situation, between this film and other players like The Birth of a Nation, Hidden Figures, Loving, Moonlight, and more. Sit tight, as Fences looks like it could be potentially the biggest of the bunch…

Here now is the Trailer for Fences:

Stay tuned for much more on Fences in the coming weeks and months!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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