FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Tonight I saw the Oscar-winning movie (for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song [“Glory” by John Legend]) “Selma” which stars David Oyelowo (Interstellar, Jack Reacher), Carmen Ejogo (The Purge: Anarchy, Away We Go), Tom Wilkinson (The Lone Ranger , Batman Begins), Andre Holland (42, Bride Wars), Common (Run All Night, Now You See Me), and Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple, Beloved). It is directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere , I Will Follow). This movie is based on a true story, following the real events of a three-month time window in 1965 when Martin Luther King Jr. (Oyelowo) led a threatening campaign filled with marches to secure black people’s voting rights. It highlights the huge march from Selma to Montgomery which led to President Lyndon Johnson (Wilkinson) signing off on the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
I’ve seen and reviewed some movies noting the struggles of black people in our history (namely “42” and “12 Years A Slave”). It is rather difficult to review these movies for a movie review because some people will take a bad review as racist. I wanted to get this straight before I start my review: I am not racist. I review movies based on how good the story is produced and how good the performances and (if there are) special effects back it up. You can always have a good story to base a movie on (in this case, the marches led by Martin Luther King Jr.), but the movie could fail at portraying it. Now with that out-of-the-way, here is my review. I was rather skeptical walking into this movie. I wanted to see what the fuss was about over it mainly because of how people protested about how unjust it was that it didn’t win Best Picture by the Oscars. I wanted to know if they were right, so I rented this once I saw it in a DVD kiosk. The plot overall is pretty good. It has some good highlights in it, but I will touch up more on that when I get further into this review. The acting was solid, with everyone portraying their roles fantastically, especially Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. I do admit that there are quite a lot of characters to focus on however, and you want to focus on MLK most of the time, other than the President, so including people like Oprah, who doesn’t say more than a couple of lines in the movie, is rather odd. I like the time setting of this movie and I like how they captured it. The clothing seems right as well as the atmosphere. When it comes to the plot in detail, it can vary in what you think of it. The beginning was very slow and I wanted to check the time at least five times. I would’ve thought that they would’ve started the movie with MLK’s youth or something where it shows him wanting to help change the U.S. and then fast forward in time where he is doing that, but they really throw you into this one. It starts with him accepting an award and then it gets right into him thinking about his campaign. From there, it is a lot of dialogue and most of the time I zone out. It felt like they strung together a bunch of events that have happen, which would explain the logs. Throughout the movie, logs (information in the form of words that tell the time and description of an event taking place) would pop up on the screen to inform the viewer of what was going on. At first it was random, but once you got further into the movie it made more sense. It took until the actual marches and beatings for the movie to pick up pace and I am glad it did or this movie would’ve gotten Burnt Popcorn. I liked the intensity of the marches and I also liked MLK’s speeches afterwards because they felt powerful and it highlighted Oyelowo’s great acting. But all of this took until I was halfway through the movie, so it was a long wait, considering how this movie is over two hours long. In the end, would I have considered this Best Picture worthy? No (I would’ve picked “Whiplash”, but I haven’t seen “Birdman” yet). But, it is a good movie and better than “12 Years A Slave” which actually won Best Picture for 2014. I would recommend people to try this movie and see what they think. And if you’d like to share your thoughts, write a comment below! Maybe you caught something that I didn’t. FINAL SCORE: 79%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: