Director Ava DuVernay’s Selma is a powerful biographical drama surrounding the events that led up to Martin Luther King, Jr. leading the 1965 civil rights march that resulted in the change in voting restrictions for African Americans.
The film points up the fact that, 50 years later, the Country is still facing the same issues, albeit without the same physical violence exhibited then. Though, not that it’s any less insidious.
David Oyelowo gives a brilliant performance as Dr. King; one that will put him in the running for the major rewards.
However, while Aisha Coley casts many of the roles…Oyelowo as King, Nigel Thatch as Malcolm X and André Holland as Andrew Young…to perfection, there are some really odd choices with Tim Roth as Governor George Wallace and Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover.
While the script by Writer Paul Webb is sometimes ponderous and often hovers at crossing the line from drama to documentary, Spencer Averick’s editing always manages to pull the action back to where it should be. Plus, his handling of the victimization of the marchers is exceptional.
And, while Cinematographer Bradford Young tends to keep the tone a bit too dark, I’m still giving Selma a 4+ out of 5 for its overall intensity.