Selma Review

realrealselma_w300GRADE: B+

RATED: PG-13(disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language)



Selma is a great movie with an outstanding starring performance, but has several historical inaccuracies. The film is well directed by Ava DuVernay and the cinematography is spot-on. David Oyelowo’s performance as MLK Jr is one of the greatest performances of the year. Oyelowo was able to make MLK Jr’s words (well, close to them, DuVernay had to slightly change them because another studio had the rights to MLK’s speeches) sound like they were his own. For those who have watched MLK speak, which you can find online, Oyelowo sounds just like him, it truly is an outstanding performance. DuVernay’s direction is slick, perfectly capturing both the time and the feel of the film. The cinematography works well in every scene, be it a wide shot or a close up of a face. The reason why DuVernay wasn’t nominated for best director is speculated by many, the popular guess is because of the amount of historical inaccuracies. The most major being the film’s portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson, the film antagonized him, where in reality, he was the most pro civil rights president to date. The film made him reluctant to assist MLK. This was seemingly done to add another obstacle for MLK, which was an odd choice to make. There were also some inaccuracies that were there for faster dramatic effect and I was completely unaware of until reading about them. However, once again the film was very well done. After the film’s opening scene, I was hooked. The film has several sad and powerful moments and rarely abandons its perfect pacing. The film was very “Hollywood” in parts, but during the scene when the African Americans march on the bridge, the film abandons that. The scene is raw and easily the hardest to watch scene from a movie all year. The film could have easily overdone the scene, but it stayed true and brutal. Selma should be the number one choice today (MLK Jr day) and it is for anyone who wants to learn about the time, wants to watch all of the Oscar nominated films, or just wants to watch a great movie. Selma went into limited release on Christmas and opened nationwide on January 9th.

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