The first trailer for the film version of August Wilson’s iconic play Fences stars my parents Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, who also happen to be the king and queen of powerful monologues. Both already won Tony Awards for their roles in the 2010 Broadway version of Wilson’s brilliant black American story about struggle in the 1950s.


In the teaser above, Troy (Washington), a baseball player turned garbageman, preaches to his son Cory (Jovan Adepo) about a man’s responsibilities. “Hey pop, can I ask you a question? How come you ain’t ever like me?” is a pretty good opening line for a trailer. As Troy’s wife Rose, Davis predictably matches Denzel’s intensity. “I gave 18 years of my life to stand in the same spot as you!” she screams. They might as well be yelling, “Come on, EGOT!” We know their performances will be intense.

The original Broadway play, which opened in 1987, featured James Earl Jones, Mary Alice and Courtney B. Vance. The movie, directed by Washington, opens on Christmas and should win an Oscar for how much it looks like it should win an Oscar.

Culture Editor, Jezebel

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I like Denzel but check James Earl Jones performance.