By Darin Skaggs
The majority of Biopics are “roll your eyes” worthy. They give too much effort on hitting the best moments of a figures work and do not find an emotional hold on whom the figure was and why they tried changed the world the way they did. The closest good one to come out in a while is Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, which finds an emotional core and themes for the time and now but is sadly has the tacked on ending of him being assassinated. Ava DuVerney’s Selma has no interest in history class facts or getting emotional pay offs by killing a character who is known for dying at some point in real life. Selma takes place a couple months in 1965 from Martin Luther King Jr.’s life where he fights for fair voting rights for the black community of Selma, Alabama by rallying a march from Selma to the State capital.
The focus is on Dr. King (David Oyelowo) but the whole story is about getting fair treatment to a group of people who are just humans. Oyelowo gives one of the best performances of the year, but again the film is filled with tons of fantastic players such as Common, Carmen Ejogo and surprisingly even Oprah Winfrey gives a touching performance. King is viewed as a celebrity, he basically was. This movie takes a look at what that would do to a regular person, which King was, being super famous because of a movement he believes in. He does not brag about being a superman but he is not completely humble and nowhere near perfect. It treats him like the imperfect human he is, like all of us and could inspire those who chose to try and make a difference.
The whole film digs deep at the inhumanity these people in the harsh south give off towards the black community. With the marches that feature others from around the country the audience can realize the trouble our country was in only half a century ago without shoving it down your throat. It is a very emotional film, the speeches, the marches and acts of violence are all harder to deal with because of the realistic way it is made. Due to moments in our current history the whole film ends up taking a look at how little we have change and hopefully what we can do to improve.
Selma comes close to propaganda for our countries treatment of people we decide to shove into their own unfair groups and how those groups should respond to that. It is made in an interesting way, some real beautiful cinematography throughout that gets you almost as much as the scenes with more heart tugging moments.