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Fences: Okay so, Fences is based on a play, which I knew going into it. But I didn't do my homework because I definitely did not fully understand what I was walking into at 10PM at night (already a bit late for me!). Fences is set in the 1950s and is about a man (Denzel) who is so painfully suffering from depression. Only it's not called depression because it's the 1950s and (probably?) wasn't in the DSM yet, and he's a man, and probably a myriad of other reasons. This is a claustrophobic film. As it's based on a play, it's inherently dialogue driven, and much of that dialogue, while good, is in the form of monologues from the aforementioned lead character, who is miserable. The set pieces in a play are traditionally limited... unlike musicals. So you're basically stuck in that house (the front porch, the back porch, the dining room, the kitchen) with him for the entirety of the movie. And it's a long one. The performance is good. And you do feel what he feels. He's stuck. He's been stuck for 18 years. He's had a hard life and he was supposed to turn things around. But instead of feeling liberated and accomplished and like the world is moving in a positive direction, even when it is... he's just stuck, and in he has no more to give, not to his son who yearns for his approval, and not to his wife who he clearly loves. He's sinking. And you feel that. You are right there with him. It's not a bad movie. It's just a hard one. And definitely not one to re-watch. Once is enough.

Stray observation? Viola Davis (a powerhouse!) cries more with her nose than her eyes. It was somewhat distracting on such a big screen, that's all I'm saying!

Hell or High Water: This one I watched at home. I think this would have been better in the theater. I feel like I need to re-watch it actually. I enjoyed this but not as much as I think I would have if I wasn't so sleepy. I think the best thing about this movie is Ben Foster. I'm not sure if that's an unpopular opinion or not. He was great here. But everyone brought it. I still think I need to watch this again.

I still need to watch Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea. (I'll see Manchester tomorrow night at 10PM. Not sure I'll be able to squeeze Moonlight in. I might go see Lion tonight again!)


Here are my personal rankings of the 7 I've seen thus far. A couple of these could probably be interchanged but they're close!:
1. Lion
2. La La Land
3. Hacksaw Ridge
4. Hidden Figures
5. Hell or High Water
6. Arrival
7. Fences
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