Denzel Washington and Viola Davis' Fences just became an Oscar front-runner

Fences... could be an Oscar front-runner - Credit: Paramount
Fences… could be an Oscar front-runner – Credit: Paramount

In a stroke of savvy timing, it looks like the forthcoming drama ‘Fences’, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, could be heading for Oscar glory.

The movie, an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by August Wilson, was shown to industry folk over the weekend, according to reports.

Though reviews have been embargoed, the audience included a glut of Screen Actors Guild nominating committee members, press and Academy voters.

The film, directed by Washington, is now getting some serious Oscar buzz, with applause and a standing ovation immediately following the credits, writes Variety.

Written in 1983, the film is set in 1950s Pittsburgh, and follows the family life of Washington’s character Troy Maxson, a former baseball player who now struggles to support his family.

It also features support from Stephen Henderson, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo and Saniyya Sidney in the ensemble cast.

Speaking during a Q&A following the screening, Washington said: “August Wilson wrote a masterpiece.

“It’s one of the great plays of all time. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and as we found out, it works as a film as well.”

The movie will likely join other Oscar hopefuls including ‘Manchester By The Sea’, which will likely see Casey Affleck go up against Washington for Best Actor. It would mean that Washington would become one of six actors ever to win the gong three times.

It also joins a number of films centring on race relations too, standing as a foil to last year’s ‘#OscarsSoWhite’ controversy.

There’s also slave era drama ‘The Birth of a Nation’, ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘Moonlight’ set to haul in potential nominations.

Meanwhile, some are saying that they should already be engraving the Oscar for Viola Davis either in the Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress category.

The movie is due out on February 3 in the UK.

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