Starring Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby and Mykelti Williamson.
Written by August Wilson.
Directed by Denzel Washington.
August Wilson adapted his own 1983 play, and I can't help but think it might have been better if someone else had, to remove some of the stage-iness of it. Maybe that was on purpose.
This feels so much like a play, you'd think you were watching a Fathom Events instead of a movie. That's not necessarily a bad thing, when I think of how cool it would have been to watch Denzel Washington and Viola Davis perform this play live. But if you're going to be a movie, be a movie!
If Arthur Miller had Death of a Salesman, this is Wilson's Death of a Garbageman. Denzel plays Troy Maxson, a garbageman in the 1950's who felt like he missed his chance for greatness when he was a star in the Negro Leagues but never went to the major leagues. He works hard, he has a great wife, he has a long-time best friend (Stanley Henderson) he can talk with at work and drink with afterwards. He has a troubled relationship with his two sons, and the reasons why become more obvious as the story unfolds.
Troy eventually reveals himself to be more self-centered than originally perceived, and his destructive attitudes threaten his home life. Troy is outspoken, audacious, pernicious, a true galaxy of a man, and not a sympathetic one by the time we get to the third act. And we feel most for his wife Rose (Viola), a woman who gave up on her dreams and sense of self to stay with Troy.
I thought Michelle Williams had a pretty good shot at Best Supporting Actress for Manchester by the Sea, but now I think Davis has this in the bag.