Happy New Year to everyone, I hope that this coming year brings happiness to everyone including the ability to determine what happiness is.
These days the most common thing that Ellen and I do December 31st is we go out to dinner, see a movie, and then come home and attempt to stay up to midnight. In my case often not successfully. This year we went to our local Not Your Average Joe’s for dinner and saw the movie Fences. Fences is one of ten plays written by August Wilson about the African-American experience during the 20th century. It covered the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
You can read about the play here and the movie here.
Translating plays into movies is a tricky business. Each relates to an audience differently. The less the play is changed, one runs the risk of it not being entertaining. The more, one runs the risk of losing the intended story (not dissimilar I suppose when dealing with book to screen adaptations also). In this case, what seemed a labor of love by one of stars and the director, Denzel Washington, the movie was basically the play.
Having said that, the movie is well worth watching. First, for those of us who grew up outside that African-American experience, it brings us at least aspects of that perspective in a powerful fashion. And second, with very strong acting from most of the cast especially Washington and Viola Davis, husband and wife in the play (and movie), the movie is very entertaining. I found the ending very emotional. It is not a short movie, running 2 hours and 13 minutes but I did not feel the movie dragged at all.
After we got home, we in fact stayed up to midnight capping 2016 with watching the truly remarkable lip-syncing spectacle of Mariah Carey. For those who missed it, you missed watching her continually making sure her outfit stayed on pulling at straps of her dress over and over again, while starting and stopping lip-syncing somewhat independently of her recorded singing. It was like a very bad, very old foreign movie where the dubbing was out of sync, but starring Mariah Carey. What amazed me however was the report that the staff for Carey had to ask when the ball was going to be dropped to make sure the evidently often late singer would show up on time.
On the other hand when the show she was appearing on was “Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve 2017”, perhaps no explanations for anything is necessary.