A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life. (IMDb)
Nominations: Best Picture, Leading Actor (Denzel Washington), Supporting Actress (Viola Davis), and Adapted Screenplay (August Wilson)
To put this simply, I thought this was incredible. One of the biggest complaints I’m hearing is that it’s a “filmed play.” YES! That’s exactly what it is. This is how all play adaptations SHOULD be done. They stayed true to the script (so true that the original playwright is posthumously considered the writer), but expanded/added/used the advantages of film to make the story even richer. Like Moonlight (another one of my Oscar favorites), this movie is very small in scope, focusing on one family in Pittsburgh. And yet, you get a sense of the times, the mindset, the experience, of a culture. That’s how good that script is. It didn’t need to be added to a whole lot. The words did most of the talking. You go Denzel. You did it right. He also did it right acting wise. Shit. I was looking at his IMDb, and I decided I never want him to do another action movie again. And it’s not just him. Viola Davis is a force to be reckoned with. Jesus christ. She played it so close to the chest that when she got to let loose, I immediately started crying. They may as well carve her name into the Oscar statue right now. The cast as a whole was solid and had great chemistry. It didn’t hurt that Denzel did the smart thing and basically reunited the cast of the 2010 revival of this play. They all clicked into it so easily. Jovan Adepo, a relative newcomer, who plays the son, was also quite impressive. I look forward to seeing where he goes in his career. Overall, I thought this was an experience to watch, a master class in acting that I would be glad to watch again.