‘Selma’ Review

By: Kit Caldwell

We are all familiar with the Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968), a major point in our nation’s history. Many African American men and women faced unjust persecution in their everyday lives. The film Selma highlights Martin Luther King Jr.’s fight for equal voting rights among blacks and whites. Some of us may be familiar with the events that took place in Selma, but for those who may need a little reminder, this film captures the story very well. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was the result of a march from Selma to Montgomery, urged on by Martin Luther King. Selma consists of events leading up to the march, the march itself, and the result of marching from Selma to Montgomery.

     The first thing I noticed about this production was the high quality cinematography by Bradford Young. Every shot is flawless and should have been nominated for Best Cinematography. Young did a wonderful job presenting scenes with color.

Selma is nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song at the Academy Awards. Both of these nominations are rightly deserved, especially Best Original Song. ‘Glory,’ sung by John Legend and featuring rap artist Common (aka Atsushi Nishijima), was the cherry on top for this production as a whole. Compared to the other nominees, I believe ‘Glory’ will take the Oscar. Common also co-starred in the film as James Bevel, a civil rights activist.

Many actors in this film that should be recognized for their outstanding performances, but two in particular stuck out: David Oyelowo, who played King, and Carmen Ejogo, who played Coretta Scott King. The relationship and emotion between the two was captivating. I never envisioned Martin Luther King as a family man, but this movie and Oyelowo’s performance changed how I view him. Oyelowo was perfect for this role. I also thought that it was interesting how President Lyndon B. Johnson, played by Tom Wilkinson, was portrayed. I had no concept as to how President Johnson acted, so it was thought provoking to see how he was depicted.

The film as a whole was fantastic and I highly recommend it to all audiences. I’m not sure if Selma will win Best Picture, but it has a good chance. I guess we will have to wait until February 22nd to find out.

Verdict

The film as a whole was fantastic and I highly recommend it to all audiences.