Selma Film Review

Hi Guys,

So I was able to see what all the hype was about and finally watch Selma in the cinema this weekend. Once I managed to find parking on a grassy bank somewhat near the cinema (somewhat being the operative word!) Fifty Shades has come out and my local cinema are showing this film every 30 minutes and parking was horrendous! I’m not gonna lie the furore around that film has piqued my interest somewhat. I just can’t imagine it’s going to be all that titillating  to be honest.

Anyhoo, that’s a different review if I ever get round to watching it. So…. Selma!

Selma Film Review

Selma is an interesting depiction of Martin Luther King Jr and the Selma voting rights movement. The film handled the marches and the violence and the hate those in involved in the civil rights movement faced,  from people that were opposed to blacks having equal rights with as much dignity as possible.

I appreciated that Ava DuVernay focussed on different people affected by the movement. To me it made it a more well rounded movie, focussing not just on King as his wife but also issues that others faced. This included loved ones being murdered, showing the humiliation of going to a court house to attempt to register to vote and police brutality to name a few.

I understand that a criticism of the movie is the historical inaccuracy, some say, of the relationship King had with President Johnson. Being a British citizen and only really learning about American history out of interest, once schooling had finished, and I was more interested in world affairs and such; did I learn of US Presidents. So I cannot fully appreciate those criticisms of this movie. I can however, say that, it does make for an interesting movie seeing the dynamics between the Johnson and King, and it is common knowledge that J Edgar Hoover was not a fan of Dr King so to see that in the film was appreciated.

The film stars British Actor David Oyewole and I think he gave a stellar performance as King and after watching the film do feel that he was snubbed in the Oscars. My Boyfriend and I discussed the current Oscar nominees and although he enjoyed the film kept comparing it to films nominated in 2014. He felt that the film didn’t warrant a best picture nod.

This led to a ‘heated discussion’ about why he felt the film didn’t warrant it. To be fair he hasn’t seen half of the films nominated this year and as a result couldn’t fully appreciate my arguments as to why the film should have, in my opinion been nominated for more than it was.

For me this was actually really insightful he had nothing to compare it to (except the year before), so was technically watching the movie blind. Although he felt that it was a really good movie it wasn’t a really great movie. After more discussion on what I think constitutes a film worthy of an Oscar nod; storytelling, great acting and directing, excellent editing and fantastic cinematography and an emotive score. He proceeded to tell me that 12 years a slave did it all better! While I agree with him on that one 12 years a slave was not released this year and 12 years a slave one awards when it was released because the film was recognised and given nods!

We decided we just had to agree to disagree on whether or not the film should have been nominated for more accolades at this years Academy Awards. I spoke about the racial aspect of the movie before I saw it in a post, you can read that here, The post discusses the impact of white people in the film and the films depiction of that. I still stand by my previous comments even after seeing the film.

I would give this film an 8/10. I would give Oyewole’s performance a serious 9. In my opinion the biggest snub is that his acting ability was not recognised and given an Oscar nod. One thing my Boyfriend said I agreed with it that we need to not be putting such much emphasis on trophies and accolades.

Fair enough, but how do we show those that have done something extraordinary that they have and we see and acknowledge that?

Do you guys have any ideas? Let me know in the comments section on on my social media…

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2 Comments

  • Teddy
    February 16, 2015 10:50 am

    I’ve watched it twice now and feel that this film could win Best Film but won’t because of America’s love for patriotism which is shown in abundance with American Sniper.

    MLK was seen as a Communist as well as other things so for that alone it wouldn’t of won any real awards. However this film is great!

    I always have been scared when thinking about a film depicting MLK and his life. I always thought they might get a look-a-like but without the acting skills. But the casting was on point. Even the casting for Coretta was excellent (and she’s British too).

    I just wishes they never ended it the way they did by “mentioning” his death at the end. I would of also loved to see the relationship and impact others had on him in more depth regarding other civil rights leaders like Mr X (which they slightly touched on) and Carmichael amongst others.

    Anyway I’m glad I’ve seen this and will promote for as long as I can. I agree with your scoring totally.

    • Ashleigh
      February 16, 2015 6:43 pm

      Yeah you have raised a few good points in your comment and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think more emphasis on other civil rights activist at the time and how they impacted on each other would have been a nice touch. Also if/how Malcom X’s death affected him.
      Coretta was a brilliant casting choice too

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