— selma —

selma poster


It’s close to 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and its really only until now, that we have a biographical retelling of, a part of his life, where he is the central narrative figure. David Oyelowo explains this best, in his own words, in the video below. It’s worth watching because, as much as we want to think that we are past race issues, the fact of the matter is that as a society we are still ‘getting-over-it’, or if you like, ‘healing’ from it.

David Oyelowo is a brilliant actor, and his performance as MLK is astounding, to say the least. The actors nominated for Best Actor this year, all deserve to be there, but so does David Oyelowo. The way he presents himself, with elegance and poise, and the power with which he is able to re-enact the MLK speeches is truly wow. 328 Oscars have been award to actors, and only 15 of them have been awarded to black actors, the numbers speak for themselves. I can not imagine what the figures are for actresses…

david oyelowo

Selma does employ a seasoned measure of creative liberty, and although it tries to maintain itself factually correct, there are some points that stray from truth. For example, the explosion that takes place early in the film, is made to take place just after MLK receives hid Nobel Peace Prize, but in reality, it actually took place a year before. We can excuse the movie because we love it so much, and has gone to great lengths to stay true to actual events. Movies are a dramatisation of events, and they should serve as reminders of events, not as text books, from which we study history from.

martin luther king jr

Some techniques used in the film are king. The explosion I just referred to, comes out of no-where, and it is the most shocking part of the film, very effective way of making you jump! Such a shame that this isn’t a tense horror movie, such techniques should be employed more in scary films, just saying. The music is apt, and the song Glory has even been nominated for an Oscar, its good, but I think that The Lego Movie’s, Everything is Awesome, stand more of a chance of winning. Talking about Oscars, this film has also been nominated for Best Picture, but I strongly doubt that it will win, we can’t have 2 films with predominately a black cast winning Best Picture back to back now, can we!? Sorry for the sarcasm! Still, I don’t think that Selma deserves best picture, it is a good film, but Selma tells a powerful story, it does so in a restrained way, and can hardly be considered art. We shall soon find out, anyway.

The accents pass as believable, especially Tim Roth, for some reason, but Hollywood will never really nail an Alabama accent, I don’t think. Oprah Winfrey is in this film, as she is a Producer, but her role doesn’t distract from the key protagonist here, MLK, which is a good thing. The N word is said often in this film, so be warned.

tim roth selma

Film Munchers, Selma is another must see, the story it re-counts is worth re-telling, its fresh. David Oyelowo is a delight to watch as MLK. Don’t let the quieter scenes dis-hearten you, and if you get sentimental about these things, then have a tissue box near by.

TRIVIA COOKIE: Ava DuVernay is the first black female director to receive a Golden Globe nomination for best director, she did not win.

ava duvernay selma