Film Review: Selma

SELMA

Ava DuVernay’s Selma is a historical drama which is equally parts moving and absorbing.

In 1965, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters attempt to help secure equal voting rights for citizens in Selma, Alabama. In the face of violent opposition, the civil rights activist plans a march from Selma to Montgomery…

Selma is a finely executed historical drama. Director Ava DuVernay guides the story with precision; concentrating on the events during a three-month period rather than more infamous aspects of King’s story and the civil rights movement. The film allows for pensive moments and sincere dialogue without a lapse in pacing. The conclusion is build towards with the requisite tension it requires.

The story that the film focuses on functions on a number of levels. There is a keen awareness, referenced in the film, that this is just one struggle of many within the movement. Moreover, the film gives viewers enough indication of Martin Luther King Jr. as an individual without the need for an encompassing biopic. Finally, Selma is powerful in its depiction of real struggles and tragedies.

Selma features a story that took place at a pivotal period in the civil rights movement. The film has additional weight given that some aspects portrayed are sadly mirrored in recent events that have taken place in the US. There are several moments in Selma that feel poignant, and DuVernay executes these effectively.

Bradford Young’s cinematography is decent throughout. The use of lighting is particularly strong. Costumes and stylings are also good, as is the film’s score.

David Oyelowo gives a convincing performance in Selma. Playing a much recorded character, the actor had a lot to live up to. Nevertheless, Oyelowo carries it off incredibly well; the lack of an Oscar nomination for this role is surprising. Tom Wilkinson and Carmen Ejogo offer good support.

Selma tells an important story, and has been released at a pertinent time. Highly recommended viewing.

Stuff To Look At

A plethora of movie trailers and clips on Oscar nomination day, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Blackhat and Cake

Avengers: Age of Ultron

It all looks very, very bad in sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. Where are jokes of Loki? From the above trailer, it looks like this Marvel instalment will have a more serious tone. Not that this is a bad thing, as last year’s superlative Captain America: The Winter Soldier can attest to. Avengers: Age of Ultron hits UK cinemas on 24th April 2015.

Selma

So Selma may have been snubbed for several awards, but at least it has received a Best Picture nod from the Academy. Starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., Selma tells the story of his struggle to secure voting rights for African Americans. The film is released in the UK on 6th February 2015.

Cake

Jennifer Aniston may have been snubbed for a Best Actress nomination at this year’s Oscars, but Cake still seems worth a look. A dark comedy, the film focuses on Aniston’s character and dubious relationship with a widower. Cake will be released in UK cinemas on 20th February 2015.

Blackhat

Director Michael Mann delves into the world of global cybercrime with his latest thriller Blackhat. Starring Chis Hemsworth and Viola Davis, the film concentrates on convicted hacker who is helping the government tackle a network of criminals. Blackhat hits UK screens on 20th February 2015.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Following yesterday’s world premiere of Kingsman: The Secret Service, here is a clip from the film. Following the success of Kick-Ass, screenwriter Jane Goldman and writer-director Matthew Vaughan team up again for another adaptation of a comic book. Kingsman: The Secret Service is released on 29th January 2015.

Run All Night

Here is the trailer for action thriller Run All Night. The film is about a prolific hit man played by Liam Neeson. Also starring Ed Harris and Joel Kinnamen, Run All Night is set for release in the UK on 1st May 2015.

Inherent Vice

This clip from Inherent Vice sees Joaquin Phoenix reunited with his Walk The Line co-star Reese Witherspoon. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and with a stellar cast, Inherent Vice hits UK screens on 30th January 2015.