The buzz building for “Fences” got louder on Tuesday after the trailer dropped for this much anticipated film adaptation of the Tony-winning play. Our forum posters had already been been furiously debating whether “Fences” is destined for Oscar glory. And that ratcheted up several notches over the past 24 hours.
Given its pedigree, the film has been on the awards radar since it was first announced last year. It is directed by and stars two-time Oscar champ Denzel Washington alongside two-time Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Viola Davis. Washington also produces the film with Todd Black and EGOT champ Scott Rudin.
Both Washington and Davis won Tony Awards back in 2010 for appearances in the stage version of the August Wilson play, which won best revival that year as well. Wilson had won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play in 1987 for the original production. James Earl Jones prevailed for his lead performance back then, while Mary Alice won as featured actress (Davis won in lead).
In “Fences,” Washington plays Troy Maxson, a former Negro league baseball player in 1950s Pittsburgh. Davis plays his wife Rose, and the movie also stars Jovan Adepo, Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Saniyya Sidney and Mykelti Williamson. “Fences” is set to hit theaters in limited release on December 16 followed by a nationwide roll-out on Christmas Day.
According to our exclusive Gold Derby odds derived from the predictions made by our Experts, “Fences” is currently sitting pretty in the Best Picture race in fifth place with 10/1 odds, while Washington is fourth in Best Director (14/1 odds) and second in Best Actor (9/2 odds). Davis is second in Best Actress (7/2) ,and supporting players Henderson (50/1) and Adepo (50/1) are longshots in 10th and 12th place respectively. Of course, all of that could change now that our Experts, Editors, and Users have seen their first glimpses at the upcoming film.
Check out some of their comments below and then click here to join the discussion:
Andrew Carden: Washington and Davis look dynamite. I do fear, however, this could come off a bit stagey.
awardsdontmatter: The trailer gave me CHILLS. Viola for the win!
Volcarocka: Viola and Denzel are definitely contenders, and I feel like Viola is the third woman who has what it takes to win (alongside Stone and Portman). I think the movie will do well with other awards like Picture, Director, and Screenplay noms, but there’s no way to tell at this point.
Roney Moore: Directing would be the only category I wouldn’t bank on. That branch might be too edgy for a stage adaptation like this and the helmer being an actor will make it hard for them to take him seriously.
BenitoDelicias: This trailer definitely shows that we’re in for one of those cases that the film has to be extremely bad, lame, with tepid reviews to not give at least Washington and Davis nominations. They look good enough to go all the way, even if they don’t win.
Atypical: For “Fences” to win two lead acting Oscars, it’ll really need to be a top BP contender, or the outright frontrunner. Otherwise, it would be an unprecedented event, even post-#OscarsSoWhite. I didn’t see that from this teaser trailer, but it’s early still. Viola looks strong, but again, she could go supporting as easily as lead based on the source material. The play is Troy’s as a whole, not Rose’s. This could easily be Denzel’s “Lincoln” moment. His role is that significant in the canon.
Handprintsandgoodgrips: I realize it’s only the teaser trailer. But, i’m very intrigued at how well Jovan is standing up against Denzel.
TheRedBoy: It’s been 18 years since a film won both lead categories, and 24 years since a film took BP and both lead categories. And should Viola go Supporting, it’s been 26 years since a film won Lead Actor and Supp Actress … Also very interesting to note that the last time both Lead categories went to the same film, Nicholson won his third Oscar [for “As Good as it Gets”], as Denzel will should he win with Fences.
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