Running Time: 128 min
Director: Ava DuVernay
Starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Giovanni Ribisi, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Wendell Pierce, Keith Stanfield
"I have a dream...!" These are words you will not hear when watching this Martin Luther King film. Why? Well, not only does this movie take place just after the activist's famous speech, but writer/director Ava DuVernay had to rewrite all of King's original speeches as his estate licensed them to a different studio. But isn't the story of his campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery engaging enough?
It certainly is! "Selma" is a biographical drama that works. And it works well. Following the new trend of only showing a specific point of a person's life, the movie still manages to show the different facets of the legend that is Martin Luther King Junior. An absouletly fantastic David Oyelowo portrays him in many different situations: There is the Martin Luther King that gives compelling speeches to his followers, the one that negotiates with the president, the one that discusses the next steps with other leaders of the movement, as well as the Martin Luther King at home with his wife, who is assailed by doubts.
As fascinating as Oyelowo's transformation into this pastor turned activits is, it is the story itself that makes for the big emotional impact. Until the very end, it shows that every step forward in this civil rights movement came at a cost, and that resistance came in many different forms.
Overall, "Selma" is an important piece that carefully displays what was going on in the United States at that time period. Touching, engaging, and educating, it's a film that should be shown in schools, and which everyone even only remotely interested in this topic should have a look at. Especially after the events of Ferguson.
For Fans Of:
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)
Malcom X (1992)
Click Here To Watch Trailer!
And check out my friend's review over at B.A.'s Screentest for a second opinion!