Fences (dir. Denzel Washington) 2016

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Fences is a moving tale of a flawed character, beautifully told. The language and the acting are wonderful. It is no surprise to read that the play won a Pulitzer prize when it was first performed in 1987.

It is set in a poor part of 1950s Pittsburgh and it captures the generational tension of the time perfectly. The world that Troy Maxson grew up in is not the world his kids see and both sets of characters have difficulty realising this. Rose, his wife, spends her time making sure the two cultures don’t clash too badly; I almost felt that this play was mostly about her.

Denzel Washington both directs and plays the lead. His direction is good, he wrings the meaning and nuance out of every word. His acting is great, although, I think if there had been a different director to lead actor, we would not have liked Troy Maxson quite as much. I’m not sure we saw the nastiness, that the kids in the street ran away from, when he went out his front door.

All the actors in this film are great and really own the characters they play. Viola Davis is amazing as Rose Maxson, I can’t believe that this is not counted as a lead role, but I really hope she wins the best supporting actress Oscar.

Moneyball (dir. Bennett Miller) 2011

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This film is about baseball. I like baseball. I enjoyed this film.

It is based on a true story, about Billy Beane, the man who supposedly took the romance out of baseball by putting his faith in computer generated statistics. However, this is a romantic film and he is a true romantic (just don’t expect any love scenes!).

It was nominated for 6 Academy Awards; this implies to me that it has wider appeal than just baseball fans.

It is an intelligent movie with a great script. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill were both nominated for Oscars and it also has Philip Seymour Hoffman in the cast, so could be worth a watch for the acting alone.