Everyone agrees: Viola Davis is going to win an Oscar for ‘Fences’


A few weeks ago, we talked about how Viola Davis might be committing “category fraud,” which is something people care about in Hollywood and beyond. I think there are truly egregious cases of category fraud, where an actor positions themselves in a particular category just for the sake of an Oscar campaign, when clearly they belong in another category. It happens a lot with performances that could go either way, in supporting or lead categories. In Viola’s situation, she performed in Fences on Broadway, where she won the Tony for Lead Actress. She stars in the film adaptation and after she saw the film for the first time, she decided that her performance felt more like a supporting-category performance.

As I said at the time, I don’t care if Viola is committing category fraud. In this particular instance, with this particular actress, the fact that she hasn’t won an Oscar yet is simply wrong. She is truly “overdue” for an Oscar. Thankfully, now that Viola is committed to campaigning for Best Supporting Actress, every single person is lining up behind her to back her for the Oscar this year. Fences was just screened for various guilds (SAG, DGA, etc) and the early reports are “Viola Davis is going to win an Oscar this year.”

Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan writes, flat-out, “Best Supporting Actress, though … well, you can put that category to bed. Denzel Washington’s Fences screened in Los Angeles this past weekend, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Viola Davis will win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for it.” Variety’s Kristopher Tapley agreed, and wrote about the film: “As for Davis, the Academy can probably go ahead and engrave the statue. Due respect and appreciation to Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman and the rest of this year’s supporting actress contenders, who give exceptional performances and will rightly be in the thick of the conversation — but this race just ended.”

There’s a lot of love and respect being paid to Denzel Washington too, who not only stars but directed the film too. This is his passion project, and he was vital in organizing the money for the Broadway revival in 2010 and for getting the play adapted into this film. Denzel, it seems, is ready for his third Oscar. People kind of doubt that he’ll be recognized for Best Director, but he seems like a shoo-in for a Best Actor nomination, for sure.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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38 Responses to “Everyone agrees: Viola Davis is going to win an Oscar for ‘Fences’”

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  1. Sixer says:

    Can I be both? I don’t approve of category fraud. I would love, love, love Davis to win an Oscar.

    • Snazzy says:

      That’s how I feel too. I want her to kill it and get that Oscar, and in the correct category!

  2. Ayra. says:

    My soul is ready for both of them to win. I absolutely adore watching Viola and Denzel on my screen, so both in the same movie? Someone hold me.

    • ladysussex says:

      For sure they will both win this year. They have to. If they don’t win the judges will be accused of racism again.

      • Jesie says:

        There’ll very likely be other WOC actresses competing in the supporting and lead categories. Naomie Harris especially is transcendent in Moonlight.

        Mahershala Ali is looking like a good bet for supporting actor too.

        Denzel probably won’t win. Between Joel Edgerton, Ryan Gosling and Casey Affleck it’s a tough race this year and if Warren Beatty or Tom Hanks manage to get nominated that will siphon off some of some of the ‘body of work’ votes Denzel would get. Then there’s Michael Keaton, who could build some momentum late.

    • Sunglasses Aready says:

      Love, Love, Love this lady’s work. Great actress

  3. Inas alsaadi says:

    Love love Viola Davis and she deserves the best.

  4. Common Sense says:

    love Viola, I hope she wins.

  5. Josefina says:

    I feel like every year there’s at least 2 supporting nominees who were arguably leads. Nothing new here. Go Viola.

  6. JulP says:

    Happy for Viola, but I really wish she had decided to campaign as lead actress. I definitely think she would have won. Oh well, here’s hoping she pulls a Cate Blanchett and adds a lead actress Oscar to her mantle in a few years!

  7. Rice says:

    So is it a done deal? Or is it up to the Academy? Either way, she should have won it years ago.

  8. Nicole says:

    Nothing new if other women can do it so can Viola. See Alicia Vikander.
    She would be the first to win an Oscar and Tony for the same role correct? Looks like the actress categories are pretty much tied up since Emma is by and far (from all reports) a shoo in for Lead.

    • CornyBlue says:

      Emma or Natalie Portman up till now

    • Bridget says:

      Emma is a front runner, but best actress is crazy competitive this year. That’s like when people thought Cumberbatch had Actor locked up when he was just the one you heard about.

    • Annetommy says:

      I saw Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Creatures recently. Amy Adams was totally terrific in the lead. As were Jake Gylenhall and Michael Shannon.

  9. serena says:

    Oh god, I love Denzel and I love Viola..those two together are just HOT! Hope they’ll both win, they’re so talented!

  10. Gaby says:

    This is so very cool for both of them! Love them.

  11. Neelyo says:

    Nobody is ‘owed’ an Oscar. There are several great actors who were never even nominated. It’s that kind of mindset that makes the Oscars meaningless. It’s usually about 35% about the work.

    p.s. I love Viola, hate the Oscars (and I used to be obsessed with them)

    • manta says:

      I don’t get the ” owed an Oscar” concept either.
      It’s with that mindset that you end up rewarding Pacino for Scent of a woman or Scorsese for The departed. Not exactly their most iconic body of work.
      That being said I’m sure Davis is great in this one.

    • Jesie says:

      Exactly. The Oscars reward the middle of the road. Even when they manage to give the right actor the award, they do it for the wrong movie.

      Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Helen Hunt, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sandra Bullock have Oscars. Meryl won one for the Iron Lady, which was a lousy film and an even lousier performance. Julianne Moore won for Still Alice, which is one of the less worthy films she’s made.

      Then you have things like McConaughey winning for Dallas Buyers Club, rather than Mud, or Killer Joe or even Bernie. Colin Firth winning for The King’s Speech rather than A Single Man. Leo winning for The Revenant instead of, well, just about anything else would have made more sense, except maybe The Beach. Same goes for Pacino. Eddie Redmayne winning at all. Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart?

      Better to pick up some of the top tier festivals acting awards. Long-term they do a much better job of picking interesting and memorable work.

  12. CornyBlue says:

    I think very highly of both Kyle Buchanan and Tapley and I am willing to take their word for it. I am so so so happy! I wish she was winning in lead actress but an Oscar is an Oscar.

  13. Chinoiserie says:

    I do not understand why people say she is overdue for an Oscar. Her performances in Doupt and The Help were not impressive (she was overshadowed by pretty much everyone in those films) and she has not done anything else awards worthy. Now maybe she is brilliant in theater and TV but she has a Tony and a Emmy. And you should get rewarded for the actual performance anyway and not some general feeling that you are “due”. I love Amy Adams and is someone is really due it is her. But I still want her to win for some brilliant performance (two of which she actually has this year but probably competition is too strong to win which is rare for female categories) not because “it is her time”.

    So if Viola gives great performance in Fences and it is not balant category fraud good for her and she should win. But perhaps people should wait to actually see the performance before calling the race over. And not give it to her over the bland performances in Doupt and The Help.

    • Bex says:

      I sort of agree? I don’t think she’s anymore ‘overdue’ than Amy Adams, or Annette Bening, or Glenn Close or anyone who’s on 5+ nominations. Though she was believed to have been such a close second for The Help that it probably plays into it. At the same time, it’s very unlikely she’s had the same sort of film opportunities as those women. It feels like she’s really coming into her stride now, as a WOC in her 50s, and that’s really cool. It sounds like she turns in an incredible performance in Fences so it’ll be brilliant to see her with an Oscar.

    • Almondjoy says:

      I guess it all comes down to personal opinion… I think she knocks every movie role out the park. She’s intense and brings so much to the big screen. On a smaller scale, certain scenes in How To Get Away With Murder have left me breathless or in tears. She’s a really strong actress. But again, this is just my personal opinion.

    • Jesie says:

      I think she’s a great actress when she has something to do, but somewhat over-hyped. The first and last thing she did that I thought was acclaim worthy was Solaris. Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney and Jessica Chastain were the standouts in The Help (which was a manipulative piece of dreck that didn’t deserve any awards anyway) and while she was great in Doubt, so was everyone else, especially PSH.

      Her body of work in film is…not good, even now that she’s got that Shonda money rolling in, and she’s not a Gary Oldman type who can give a brilliant performance in a pointless piece of crap. In Lila and Eve J.Lo held her own against her, and as HTGAWM slides further and further into the standard Shonda craziness her performance is becoming almost cringey at times.

      I’d love it if Naomie won this year. Her performance is astonishing, and the film is an incredible piece of art.

    • TrixC says:

      I haven’t seen The Help but she was mesmerising in Doubt, stole the film IMO.

  14. QQ says:

    YAASSSS QUEEN YAAAASSSS I would love for this to be a done deal!

  15. poppy says:

    she’s always deserved all the oscars.

    sad note, last month was told is Denzel is not the nice guy he appears. my friend worked with him (not this film) and was devestated, expecting his personality to match the persona and it did not. nothing bad or serious to keep anyone from supporting him but jarring the difference between image and reality.

  16. I Choose Me says:

    I don’t care about the Oscars but I do want Viola to get the recognition she deserves. That woman owns any scene she’s in. I’m also here for Naomie who I’m told gives in an excellent performance in Moonlight. I cannot wait to see both Fences and Moonlight.

  17. Bridget says:

    I don’t agree with the “owed” statement. I think Viola is fabulous and I hope she wins this year because it sounds like she deserves it, but no one is owed a prize.

  18. cakecakecake says:

    THIS is one of the reasons why I love this site, always keeps me up on all of the good movies. Thank you, I can’t wait to see this one. I have seen so many good movies because of this site.

  19. Kori says:

    I love Viola but I don’t think she’s ‘overdue’. She’s really not done that many Oscar-worthy films–she’s solid in everything but most of the films themselves aren’t the type that get the noms–those are few and far between. Doubt and The Help are the only 2 springing to mind. But she DID get robbed for The Help. I’m still annoyed at Streep winning that year. I tend to think ‘overdue’ is when you’ve been nominated a gazillion times or do award-worthy work year after year and aren’t recognized.

  20. aenflex says:

    I think she was brilliant in The Help. Just brilliant.

  21. minx says:

    That dress! Gorgeous with her skin.

  22. Kingbeyfan says:

    Viola Davis ( WOC ) really don’t get Oscar worthy roles year after year like Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence etc. That’s why she’s overdue. The performance for The Help should’ve resulted in her winning her first Oscar as a lead but as we know that didn’t happen. Viola has always said that all WOC needed was an opportunity to have a good narrative so their talent can break through. Let’s be honest. Hollywood don’t make Oscar worthy films with a diverse cast. Not unless it’s about slavery or racism. It had to take this “Oscars So White” before they started to make more diverse Oscar worthy films like Hidden Figures and Collateral Beauty.

  23. TOM says:

    Usually there’s an uproar for performances that go Supporting just because the odds are against them in Lead, so they elbow themselves into the lesser category for a win. (George Clooney in Syriana? That was Supporting? He knew he had no chance against Capote. Vikander/The Danish Girl.)
    Granted – if Viola’s performance is in fact Lead, she’ll be given a complete pass just so she can win.
    She could’ve won Supporting for The Help because that performance certainly wasn’t Lead. Guess it was greed. As for her performance in Doubt – good, but she certainly wasn’t robbed of anything.
    I credit Viola’s gifts, but I prefer that the best performance win – not just given a token award because ‘you’re due.’