CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Viola Davis Wins SAG Supporting Actress Award for ‘Fences’

Variety: Viola Davis won the SAG Award for best supporting actress for the searing drama “Fences” opposite Denzel Washington, and in her speech, remembered August Wilson, who wrote the play on which the film is based.


Taylor Steck said...

Viola Davis' acceptance speech captures and pinpoints some of the quintessential reasons on what makes Fences, as well as the rest of August Wilson's work, so important for history as well as why it's so crucially prevalent to today's society as well. Davis's nomination and eventual winning of the SAG Award was also a major step for diversity in the way these types awards nominate the actors and actresses for these characters. Alongside the other women of color who were nominated in this category, Davis represents the importance and power of hollywood not only telling white stories. Her role of Rose Maxson in Fences also helps this, along with the works of August Wilson. Fences brings representation to people of color in a way that brings a normalcy not seen in most of the Hollywood films, where we rarely often hear of anything but life of and the stories told by white people. This representations stands for the history and the people that we don't get to hear from, and Fences helps us break this mould of the past.

Alexa James-Cardenas said...

I am so glad I saw this article! I personally loved Fences and I am dying to see it on stage. I saw the movie with my mom over the winter break. It was one of our “we must see before I return to school” movies including La La land and Hidden Figures (which I loved both!). We also saw the movie in an ideal location, our local Cinemark movie theatre. For me, it is ideal because more than half of the customers and workers there are black or of some color, and on that day, even though totally full, there was a considerable amount of people. Throughout the movie, at the appropriate times, laughter, small outcries, and a plethora of “Mm” or “Mmm-hmm” could be heard, which made the movie even more amazing in my opinion. The reason is, although the play/movie is set in 1950’s, a lot of topics brought up, for example trying to make-ends meet, relationships/adultery, duty to family vs love (Or lack thereof), parents vs child, family in general, religion, etc. are still very relevant to people’s lives, and very familiar in a lot of black people’s lives. It’s ability to relate to the normal man is one of the reasons I really liked to the movie. Of course the acting was amazing, and in my opinion, deserves each nomination and award (already won or potential) it has received. Also the symbolisms within the movie/play were really awesome! The one I’m specifically talking about is at the end, when (SPOILER) Troy dies and the family is going to his funeral. I’m not going to totally reveal it, but it is in that scene you need to pay close attention to the background a little before Gabriel plays the trumpet and afterwards. Some people might have an issue with the movie, because I believe it keeps it to the original script, which sounds very much like a play and the blocking is very much like a play rather than a movie. I personally was confused by this in the beginning, but soon began to like it. I feel like it worked almost like one of those recordings of different plays and operas theatres do in order to show people what they missed out. I definitely would like to see the difference of how it is on stage versus on the screen, though.