The 11 Must-See Movies of December

10 of 12

Image courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Fences (December 25th)

A father (Denzel Washington) struggles to deal with his son and the changing world of race relations in the 1950s.

When I first read August Wilson’s play Fences in college, I loved it. A descendent of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Fences explores the world of African-American families during the lead-up to the Civil Rights Movement, charting the struggles on the world stage but also the generational gap between fathers and sons. My version of the play will always be 1983’s performance with James Earl Jones, but that’s all going to change for a new generation. In 2010 Washington starred in a revival of Fences to great critical acclaim.

Washington’s directed films before – 2002’s Antwone Fisher and The Great Debaters in 2007 – but Fences is his biggest prestige project. August Wilson himself is credited for the screenplay, and heavy-hitter Viola Davis plays Washington’s wife put-upon wife Rose. If you’ve watched the trailer, which features one of the film’s most powerful sequences, you’ll witness a glimpse of the film’s raw energy. Though Washington’s direction is being labeled as the film’s weakest link, there’s no doubt that Fences will be one of the major awards films of this year that could do a lot towards overturning #OscarsSoWhite.

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