'Fences' trailer: Will play adaptation draw Oscar nods, big box office?

A trailer has been released for the upcoming movie adaptation of the classic August Wilson play 'Fences.' Many critics are seeing the film as a possible Oscars contender. 

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming film adaptation of the classic August Wilson play “Fences.” It’s a movie that features diversity in front of and behind the camera and could draw audiences because of its star, Denzel Washington. 

"Fences" is part of Mr. Wilson's 10-play cycle focusing on African-American experiences in Pittsburgh, Pa. throughout the 20th century. The play focuses on the family of Troy Maxson, a former Negro League baseball player now working for the city's sanitation department.

The cast of the film is mostly the same as that of the 2010 Broadway revival of “Fences,” with Mr. Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson, Stephen Henderson, and Russell Hornsby coming to the film adaptation from the Broadway play.

The play by Mr. Wilson, which first opened on Broadway in 1987, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. 

Many in the industry are seeing “Fences,” which is also directed by Washington, as a possible Oscars contender. If any of the cast members earned acting nominations for their work in the film, there would be more diversity in the Academy Award acting nominations than in the past two years, when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominated only white actors. 

“Fences” could become a box office hit as well, if Washington’s past work is any indication. The actor stars in the recent remake of “The Magnificent Seven,” which opened in theaters on Sept. 23. The film opened at number one, and some credited Washington’s name on the poster with encouraging moviegoers to turn up. 

“Movie stars don't open movies anymore? Tell that to Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks,” Jake Coyle wrote for the Associated Press, referencing the box office success of both “Magnificent” and the recent movie “Sully,” which stars Mr. Hanks. “…The ensemble of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ most notably includes Chris Pratt, the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ star and a potential heir apparent to Washington and Hanks. But Washington and Hanks ranked as the overwhelming reason audiences went to see either movie, according to comScore's survey of moviegoers.” 

Vulture writer Devon Ivie also credited Washington with some of the success of "Magnificent."

"What, you're really surprised that a Denzel Washington film debuted at the top of the box office this weekend?" Mr. Ivie wrote. "No, of course not."

If audiences are willing to follow Washington to a variety of films, perhaps they’ll turn up this December for “Fences” as well.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Fences' trailer: Will play adaptation draw Oscar nods, big box office?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today