The unforgettable true story chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay's "Selma" tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.Written by
Miss W J Mcdermott
Selma is a movie-of-the-week that didn't have to be. That an African-American woman, Ava DuVernay, directed this story is surely praiseworthy and a long time coming, but one wishes she'd realized the picture with more subtle strokes. Yes, there are a handful of beautifully poignant moments, some unspoken, but those are nearly neutralized by scenes where the dialog is so stilted with the weight of self-importance that ordinary folks sound like they're making speeches during private conversations.
Visually, the desaturated sepia look of the picture confuses. Are we watching a historical document, or are we present in the moment of 1965 with its arguably more vibrant palette? Superimposed FBI logbook entries (as scene headers) cheapen the movie and bring to mind 1970s televised crime drama. In these and other production decisions, DuVernay undermines her own noble effort.
Nevertheless, the story does move, and the inevitable violence that pushes forward the Voting Rights Act is brutal and affecting. The film's best moments come from Henry G. Sanders as Cager Lee, and between David Oyelowo and Tom Wilkinson as MLK and LBJ.
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