Saturday, November 26, 2016

More FENCES Oscar Buzz

Will FENCES be decorated with Hollywood gold?  The Oscar buzz grows louder.  The film adaptation of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play by the late August Wilson hits movie screens on Christmas Day. The Broadway revival starred Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in a Tony-winning 2010 production.  Mr. Washington directed the film adaptation.  He and Viola Davis repeat their Broadway roles onscreen.  This may be the first time that a black actor and actress have recreated their Broadway lead role performances for the film of a celebrated play since Broadway's Sidney Poitier and Ruby Dee starred in the 1961 movie of Lorraine Hansberry's A RAISIN IN THE SUN.  In 1959, playwright Lorraine Hansberry became the first African American woman to have a play produced on Broadway.  For FENCES, more critics are hailing the work of Viola Davis as Rose, the 1950s working class wife and mother. Rose is married to a former Negro League baseball player who struggles to raise his family.
There's also Oscar buzz that FENCES could bring an Oscar nomination to Denzel Washington and put the film in the Best Picture Oscar nomination category.
For Viola Davis, an Oscar nomination could bring her a very special and groundbreaking mention in the Hollywood history books.  I explain in this short video:

If you're on Twitter, you can see the newest trailer for FENCES.  More footage of Viola Davis has been added.  On Twitter, go to @FencesMovie.

Here's some other Oscar news for you:  For the first time in Hollywood history, more than one black woman was in the Oscar race for Best Actress.  This was for 1972.  Cicely Tyson was nominated for SOUNDER.  Diana Ross was nominated for LADY SINGS THE BLUES.

This week Cicely Tyson and Diana Ross, two Oscar nominees for Best Actress of 1972, were among the 21 recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom honor presented at the White House.  The group of recipients also included Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen DeGeneres and Bill and Melinda Gates.

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