Denzel Washington‘s Fences (Paramount, 12.25), which everyone saw last night, is going to kick major Oscar nomination ass — guaranteed noms for Best Picture, Best Director (Denzel), Best Actor (ditto) and Best Supporting Actress (Viola Davis, 100% locked to win)…bare minimum. Mykelti Williamson may snag a Best Supporting Actor nom as Denzel’s mentally damaged brother.

I can’t “review” it until the embargo lifts, but c’mon…we were all there last night. It screened, it happened. Fences is stagey but clean (i.e., unfettered), eloquent, emotionally affecting, smooth and damn near close to perfect. It’s a heartfelt, beautifully refined thing, and every semi-intelligent moviegoer over 30 will rush to see it. The unwashed, un-cultured morons will say it’s not cinematic or Dr. Strange-y enough and stay away, but what else is new?

Last night’s blowout screening happened at the Westwood Village; the after-party at Napa Valley Grille. The post-screening q & a included Denzel, Viola and costars Stephen Henderson (who’s also in Manchester By The Sea), Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Jovan Adepo and newcomer Saniyya Sidney, who’s also in Hidden Figures and is absolutely destined for stardom.


Denzel Washington, costar Stephen Henderson during Fences after-party at Napa Valley Grille.

(l. to r.) Fences costars Russell Hornsby, Jovan Adepo, Saniyya Sidney, Denzel Washginton, Stephen Henderson, Mykelti Washington at Napa Valley Grille.

(l.) Fences dp Charlotte Bruus Christensen (Life, The Girl on the Train, about to start shooting Molly’s Game), HE’s own Svetlana Cvetko (Inside Job, Inequality for All, Red Army).

Fences costar Saniyya Sidney.