“Selma” Review

Despite being advertised as a Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, I don’t feel like that’s the best way to describe Selma. Although Martin Luther King Jr. is technically the main character of the film, the movie doesn’t focus so much on him as it focuses on the events taking place. This movie is more about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Selma to Montgomery march. Selma is much more about the cause than it is about the people.

That said, the performances in the film are all very strong. David Oyelowo is incredibly affecting as King, and Carmen Ejogo is similarly great. There’s a lot of very good cameos from the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, and Trai Byers, There’s also a few very odd cameos. Giovanni Ribisi plays a presidential advisor and Stephen Root plays a racist colonel. Neither of them were bad, but it took me out of the movie a bit to see them. The cinematography was also a bit inconsistent, occasionally containing some odd lighting and framing choices.

The film took a little time for me to get into, but once it found its footing I was all in. The protest scenes are astonishingly emotional. I haven’t been so impacted by an action scene in a long time. Ava DuVernay directs the film with total control and makes a very strong film out of only a decent script. Narrow in focus but wide in scope, Selma is especially relevant as of recently. 8/10.

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