Lion of the Blogosphere


Fences, another movie nominated for Best Picture.

My recommendation is don’t watch it unless you really really like movie adaptations of plays. It feels to me like I got the cheap seats to the play, couldn’t afford to see it in the theater in the 1980s, had to settle for the movie version thirty years later. James Earl Jones starred in the original play. I wish I could have seen that.

The characters don’t speak in natural conversational voices, it’s more like they take turns giving soliloquies. In a 1950s Ebonics dialect. That type of thing works in theater, it doesn’t make for a good movie.

It’s about a black family in Pittsburgh in the 1950s. The main character, Troy Maxson (played by Denzel Washington who also directed), at first seems like an amiable guy, reminding me of Redd Foxx playing Fred Sanford in that 1970s sitcom. Amiable but grumpy. As the play progresses, we discover that Troy is actually a real asshole, especially to his younger son, but also to his wife and his older son.

I definitely don’t see this as Academy Award material, not unless there’s a category for best motion picture adaptation of a play. I don’t hate it the way I hate Arrival. It’s just boring, not my thing.

Although I don’t see it that way, many pundits think that Denzel Washington will win Best Actor and Viola Davis, who played his wife, will win Best Supporting Actress.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 24, 2017 at EDT pm

Posted in Movies, Theater

8 Responses

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  1. I think Fences is definitely out of the running for Best Picture but I agree Denzel and Viola are the front runners for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively. They definitely want to give the awards to blacks after what happened last year and there doesn’t seem like they have a ton of noteworthy competitors for the awards this year either. Might be tough to give the award to Casey Affleck with the rape stuff although with Hollywood, you never know. I don’t think the Academy wants to stiff Denzel for a white rapist with all the controversy from last year plus the movie being about Trump voters.

    As was discussed earlier, Manchester by the Sea can’t get Best Picture because it was about Trump voters and Lala Land can’t win Best Picture because it is too reviled. I guess that other black movie wins then by default. Isn’t Best Picture always a big budget film?

    Otis the Sweaty

    February 24, 2017 at EDT pm

  2. Viola Davis will probably win because she’s been nominated before. Putting her in the supporting rather than leading category (like Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago) also seems geared toward that. I have no problem with it being a kind of career award for her.

    Washington already has two oscars IINM and a lot of people didn’t like the filmed play direction so I’m not sure about him.

    If Affleck wins, it could be an early sign of cultural change coming from political change (as agnostic often writes about).

    cliff arroyo

    February 25, 2017 at EDT am

  3. Apparently August Wilson, who wrote Fences, wouldn’t let it be turned into a movie until it could be made by blacks.

    This, people, is August Wilson:


    February 25, 2017 at EDT am

    • More admirable than just selling the movie to the highest bidder. If only Heinlein’s estate had been more respectful of Starship Troopers.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 25, 2017 at EDT am

    • He looks more Jewish than black.


      February 25, 2017 at EDT pm

      • August Wilson is half gentile German, but there’s a great deal of genetic similarity between gentile Germans and Jewish Germans.

        With the 15 point IQ difference between blacks and whites, it’s not surprising that half-blacks make up a disproportionate percent of “black” intellectuals.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 25, 2017 at EDT pm

  4. Speaking of black movies, looks like next year’s Oscar bait is already out there with the race mixing tale “Get Out.” Oh wait, I meant the race mixing tale “A United Kingdom.”

    This is the next big film wave: black man/white woman romances. I mean, it’s already everywhere on television, but films have a longer lead time.


    February 25, 2017 at EDT pm

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