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Selma is a beautifully designed film that not only hits you emotionally in the gut, but also makes you feel for the humanity that the Civil Rights movement was fighting for. While Martin Luther King Jr. was just a man, he spoke for and to people willing to defy intimidation, face economic retaliation, and endure arrests and beatings, all in hopes of provoking a transformative confrontation that would give African Americans the basic rights that they so desperately wanted and deserved. Expertly directed by Ava DuVernay, the film stars David Oyelowo (in an award-worthy performance as Dr. King), Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey, Andre Holland, Common, Giovanni Ribisi, Tessa Thompson, Dylan Baker, Alessandro Nivola and Omar Dorsey. During a roundtable interview at the film’s press day, actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay talked about taking on someone so very well known, never hesitating in showing »
- Christina Radish
Turnin’ the Beat Around: DuVernay’s Poignant, Passionate Mlk Portrait Revitalizes Notions of Biopic
Eschewing what’s come to resemble a traditional route in downplaying both the significant violence and vile truth concerning historical depictions of racial injustices, Ava DuVernay throws all the euphemisms out the window for her excellent third feature, Selma. A depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mounting of the civil rights marches in 1965, DuVernay’s entry is the most significant cinematic depiction of the famed historical figure to date, though the film explores only one (significant) moment from his esteemed career. Those who may sniff at such material arriving just in time for awards superbaiting should be made aware that the film is anything but a carrot poised conveniently in front of the film industry’s chomping mandible, as it’s the kind of material that transcends such accolades whether they are bestowed upon it or not. »
- Nicholas Bell
Dylan Baker and Judith Ivey have joined fhe cast for the Broadway transfer of London stage hit The Audience, Peter Morgan's play about the weekly tradition of closed-door one-on-one encounters at Buckingham Palace between Queen Elizabeth II and her government leader. Baker, whose Broadway credits include Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius, David Mamet's November and Yasmina Reza's God of Carnage, will play former Prime Minister John Major. His recent screen work includes Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Selma and The Humbling, as well as a recurring role on The Good Wife. Two-time Tony-winner Ivey, who was last on Broadway
- David Rooney
Every week, a member of the Nashville cast will blog about the latest episode of the ABC hit. This week, Tony winner Laura Benanti - who plays Sadie Stone - writes about her character's big win at the Country Music Association Awards and how her past will come back to haunt her. And for viewers who noticed Sadie catch Luke Wheeler's eye and are wondering if something might develop between them - and threaten her friendship with Rayna - Benanti says that's not going to happen.All those years working hard in country music paid off! When I won that Cma Award, »
- Laura Benanti, @laurabenanti
Often we put our heroes on pedestals. Yet, even the greatest men in history have made mistakes, suffered because of their personal vices and doubted themselves at the most critical junctures of their lives. Ava DuVernay's powerful new drama "Selma" tells the tale of the Selma to Montgomery marches that spearheaded the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but at its center is one historically prominent hero who finds himself at a crossroads, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After leading the nonviolent movement that brought about the passage of the civil rights act in 1964, "Selma" finds Dr. King (David Oyelowo) and his organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Council (Sclc), focusing their efforts on removing the discriminatory practices that are effectively blocking African Americans from registering to vote across a majority of the South. Following a year of trying to register voters in Selma, Alabama with little success, the Sclc decides to »
- Gregory Ellwood
For awhile, Ava DuVernay’s "Middle of Nowhere" follow-up "Selma" looked like Paramount Pictures’s perpetually-teased-never-shown December holdout, a big question mark for Oscar season. The movie only wrapped production over the summer. Post-production was racing towards a release date. Would it be done in time? Fear not: The Martin Luther King Jr. drama will scrap its plans to screen 30 minutes of exclusive footage at the currently-running AFI Festival and let the entire feature out of the gates. After the "Selma" trailer played like gangbusters, Oprah, the film’s executive producer, and DuVernay took to Twitter to celebrate. The result was DuVernay throwing caution to the wind: So, @Oprah. I think I want to show the whole film. Not just a 30 minute preview. Why wait, right? Let's Do this! Hot off the presses! Yes? — Ava DuVernay (@Avaetc) November 10, 2014 Centered around a1965 voting equality campaign mounted by Martin Luther King, Jr. »
- Matt Patches
The emotional trailer finds the legendary civil rights activist challenging President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson), FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Dylan Baker) and Alabama Gov. George Wallace (Tom Roth) in between bloody marches that took place in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.
The film focuses on a a three-month period in King’s life when he campaigned for equal voting rights by leading three protests down a 54-mile highway. His actions helped turn the tides against segregation.
Thirty minutes of the film will debut at AFI on Tuesday. “Selma” hits theaters on Christmas Day.
- Maane Khatchatourian
With this year’s awards circuit right around the corner, moviegoers are about to experience cinema’s annual purple patch. Not to disparage those films that hit during the course of the spring and summer, but as the nights get darker, generally speaking, Hollywood studios begin to play their ace in the holes. And this year it’s been no different, with Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Birdman and Nightcrawler all already drawing praise across the industry. But one release that is beginning to emerge as a dark horse of sorts is Ava DuVernay’s Martin Luther King biopic, Selma.
Over the past few months, we’ve been teased with umpteen screenshots for the civil rights drama and today, the studio has finally unveiled the first full-length trailer, which shows David Oyelowo in the role of the renown activist circa 1960.
In essence, the story will chart the groundswell of support that »
- Michael Briers
David Oyelowo stars as the civil rights leader alongside Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson, Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover, and Tim Roth as Alabama Gov. George Wallace, Common as civil rights activist James Bevel, and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King. Keep an eye out for producer Oprah Winfrey as protester Annie Lee Cooper. If you're not moved by the trailer, well, we don't know what to tell you.
DuVernay made a splash at Sundance with "Middle of Nowhere" in 2012, an intimate drama that snagged her the Best Director award at the festival.
"Selma" opens on Christmas for a limited Oscar run, »
- Jenni Miller
Selma will receive a limited Us release on December 25 before going nationwide on January 9. It will arrive in the UK on February 6. »
With competing projects by Oliver Stone and Paul Greengrass stuck at various stages of development, it's Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King biopic that's moving forward fastest. David Oyelowo stars as Dr King in Selma, with Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth as Alabama Governor George Wallace. The Paramount film's release now only a few weeks away, and the first trailer has just marched online.Selma was previously in the hands of Lee Daniels, but he passed it to DuVernay (Middle Of Nowhere) last summer. DuVernay went on to overhaul playwrite Paul Webb's original screenplay, but as the trailer makes clear, the focus remains on the historic civil rights march that began in the titular Alabama town in 1965. The protest, facing violent opposition, marked a turning point for African-Americans in their struggle for equality, and took three attempts before it finally reached its target, Montgomery, »
"What happens when a man stands up and says enough is enough." Paramount has officially debuted the first trailer for Ava DuVernay's Selma, one of the last films we're waiting to see for the awards season, as it hits theaters on Christmas Day just in time for a qualifying theatrical run. Telling the story of of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s historic march that started in Selma, Alabama in 1965, this powerful portrayal of the civil rights movement is lead by David Oyelowo. He looks exceptional as Martin Luther King, even putting on a bit of weight to complete the appearance, and I can't wait to see the entire thing. The cast includes Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson and Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover. Don't ignore this film. Here's the first riveting trailer for Ava DuVernay's Selma, originally debuted by Yahoo: Selma is the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, »
- Alex Billington
The Selma trailer is ready to shed light on an important part of U.S. history. David Oyelowo stars as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who in the trailer goes toe-to-toe with President Lyndon B. Johnson (a formidable Tom Wilkinson), FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (Dylan Baker) and Alabama Gov. George Wallace (Tom Roth). See more March on Washington at 50: Obama, Oprah, Foxx, Honor Martin Luther King Jr. Selma takes place during three months in 1965 when King led a campaign for equal voting rights, including a dangerous march from Selma to Montogomery, Ala. The film is
- Aaron Couch
Discovery Channel will show a man get “Eaten Alive” by a giant snake A filmmaker will wear a special “snake-proof” suit that will allow him to “get inside" a live anaconda for a special airing Dec. 7 (watch the trailer). Already, the stunt drawing concerns that it amounts to animal cruelty. Minnie Driver joins NBC’s “Peter Pan Live!” She’ll narrate the live event and play the adult Wendy Darling. Hugh Bonneville: Terrorist group Isis has nothing to do with “Downton Abbey’s” dog Isis "Anyone who genuinely believes the series five storyline (1924) involving the animal was a reaction to recent world news is a complete berk,” he says. Click Read Full Post For More “@midnight” drops Artie Lange after his racist/sexist Twitter rant targeting an ESPN2 host Lange was set to appear on Thursday’s "@midnight," but that appearance was quickly canceled after Lange went on a »
- Norman Weiss
Two of the sharpest thorns in Alicia Florrick’s side are returning to The Good Wife next year.
Related The Good Wife Recap: Campaign and Suffering
Colin will reportedly hire Florrick/Agos/Lockhart/whomever to sue a TV show. Benanti’s Renata, meanwhile, will agree to testify against him in court.
Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets?
A fan-favorite (alleged) lady-killer is coming back to The Good Wife. Dylan Baker's wonderfully creepy Colin Sweeney will return for a season-six episode airing in 2015. Here's what co-creator Robert King says: "Colin Sweeney wants the firm to sue a TV show for defamation after the show steals his character, and makes it look like he killed his first wife. Laura Benanti also returns as his estranged third wife, Renata, who decides to testify against him in court." Baker earned his third Emmy nomination earlier this year for his portrayal of Sweeney. The Good Wife airs Sundays at 9 p.m. »
- Breia Brissey
[Since Halloween is this week, Adam, Matt, and I decided to write a bit about the films we watch annually to celebrate the holiday. Click here for Adam's pick, and click here for Matt's pick.] I watch a lot of horror movies, whether it’s Halloween or not. It’s my genre of choice so I’m extremely guilty of watching and re-watching favorites like Scream, The Mist, Poltergeist, The Descent, A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, just to name a select few. Any movie with bumps in the night, creatures and/or serial killers can be branded a Halloween-appropriate film, but because my days are filled with blood and guts year-round, on the holiday, I like to go with one of the best Halloween-themed films out there, Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat. Find out more after the jump. Trick ‘r Treat is a horror anthology with five core stories. There’s the situation with Emma (Leslie Bibb) and her Halloween-loving husband, what goes down after the school principal (Dylan Baker) gets a visit from a candy stealer, Laurie’s »
- Perri Nemiroff
It is very interesting we have two movies this year about aging actors sort of losing their minds. The other is, of course, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which goes about exploring its topic in an inventive, thrilling way. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for The Humbling, the latest film from director Barry Levinson (Rain Man). Its biggest problem is it wants to be about something but can never nail down a thesis. Is it a comment on how aging diminishes one's former selfc Is it about needing to regain your passion for your craftc Is it about women being horrible (more on that later)c They throw theme after idea after theme at the wall and hope something sticks, and it never is able to come together. That is to say The Humbling is not a miserable time in the theater. It provides a few laughs »
- Mike Shutt
Faith is literally blind in inspirational sports drama “23 Blast,” the fact-based tale of a high-school football player who suddenly loses his sight, but not his place on the team. Drawn up using equal parts genre playbook and Good Book, actor Dylan Baker, making his directing debut, and thesp Bram Hoover (who co-wrote the script with his mother, Toni) deliver a fairly predictable yarn that’s lighthearted and well-acted, if cast mostly with characters that are little more than tackling dummies. This Heartland Film Festival winner should rack up points with the churchgoing crowd on its Oct. 24 release, but likely won’t cross into a wider field of play.
A preamble introduces running back Travis Freeman and quarterback Jerry Baker as pee-wee players who connect on a long pass play that establishes their athletic promise and the roots of their friendship. Early scenes set a few years later show the pair »
- Bill Edelstein
The clunky script and amateurish performances are not unexpected in the faith-based genre, but its dubious “inspiration” gives even diehard-atheist me pause. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): not a fan of “faith-based” films
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If I was a faith-based sort of person, I’d be pretty annoyed at the sorts of movies I’m supposed to embrace simply because characters in them pray and stuff. And then 23 Blast would make me extra angry, because not only is it defined primarily by its clunky script and amateurish performances — which is, alas, not unexpected in the faith-based genre — but it also features some dubious instances of “inspiration” that gave even diehard-atheist me pause.
This is the true story of Kentucky high-school footballer Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka), who is struck blind literally overnight by an infection that destroys his »
- MaryAnn Johanson
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