Fences review

Denzel Washington is both in front of and behind the camera is his latest outing, and could well win his third Oscar as a result.

He stars in the big-screen adaptation of Broadway play Fences.

This story, beautifully written to Pulitzer Prize-winning effect for the stage in the '80s, comes to cinemas courtesy of Washington - director, producer and star.

The film is up for four Oscars, including Best Film and Best Actor for Washington, and is now in New Zealand for our consideration.

A former baseball player turned rubbish collector, Troy Maxson, has a lot of baggage and a lot of bitterness.

Forging a hard-fought living in the 1950s United States as a black man trying to provide for his wife (Viola Davis) and children, he's full of blame and rhetoric and he's not afraid to voice it.

It gives the always excellent Washing much to chew on and plenty to deliver, and it's a joy to watch him do just that.

And if you think Washington is impressive, behold Davis.

This story is good. The translation from the stage to the big screen is far from inspired, but Fences is a sell based purely on the strength of the powerhouse performances from its two leads. Washington and Davis are heavyweight Oscar contenders and I cannot see a future where Davis doesn't take it home.

Three-and-half stars.


:: Director: Denzel Washington

:: Starring: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Jovan Adepo, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sydney

:: Running Time: 138 minutes

:: Rating: PG - coarse language and sexual references

:: Release Date: In cinemas now