You often hear people talk about how important a film is. Or how a film has the ability to raise awareness about a certain subject matter. A film can even remind us about of the wrongs that took place in our country. A film can be more that just entertainment, and that's exactly what Selma is. Directed by an incredibly talented African-American young woman named Ava DuVernay; the film stars David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo as Martin Luther King Jr., and Coretta Scott King. I can't wait to tell you more about this film. Let's go.
What I liked about the film:
The Incredible Story/The Writing
Talk about how tight knit the script is and how there is no waste. Every scene matters and every words spoken matters. I really appreciate this type of writing, the older I get. By the way, this is Paul Webb's first screenplay!
Carmen Ejogo is terrific. She plays MLK's wife as a smart, loving, supportive woman, who is not afraid to voice her opinion if she does not agree with what she sees. I thought that was important in a film like this. How could we appreciate a film about civil rights, if woman are nothing more than arm candy in the film.
Tom Wilkinson plays President Johnson and does a fine job. At this point, what else would you expect out of the great Wilkinson? There are other bit roles that flushed out the cast, most notably that of Oprah Winfrey, Tim Roth and Giovanni Ribisi. For no reason other than time, I will not go into more detail. But trust me, they all give top notch performances in the film.
Snubbed. Period. (The Director)
What I didn't like about the film:
Who Was this Man?
Who Was this Man?
What kind of family man was MLK? The relationship with his wife is explored, but not much if any with his kids. While I dislike 3+ hour biopics, it would have been nice to learn more about the man in which the film is about. Some minor flaws in his character are explored, but no one is perfect.
The ending was too abrupt for me. I felt like it needed another scene or two to really drive the message home. I felt as if there was a plan for more, and the filmmakers simply ran out of money. I can't speak intelligently as to whether or not that was the case, that's just what it felt like. And the entire movie, we're shown glimpses of the FBI surveillance on MLK; but then what? Why show us all that if it leads to nothing? I really wanted just a bit more pay off for the amazing build up.
Oh, Selma How You've Been Wronged