Before the Oscar nominations were released a few weeks back, ‘Selma’ was one of the most talked about films at the time. Critics and the public alike were expecting a full swoop of nominations, but everyone was shocked at the amount of nominations it received; only two. Best Original Song and Best Film, which is a strange nomination to receive when it hasn’t been nominated in any other of the main categories. At the time before the film, I was completely shocked as I was expecting the film to be a triumph due to its extraordinary reviews. We were blessed to watch it very early on through Odeon Screen Unseen programme which is a fantastic programme, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed.
David Oyelowo stars as Martin Luther King Jr as we follow his campaign to get equal voting rights through a peace march from Selma to Alabama in 1965. Knowing the history of Martin Luther King Jr, it is an epic and historic battle that he fought to get equal rights for the African American people of America and I feel that ‘Selma’ doesn’t quite give him the film he truly deserves. Directed by Ava DuVernay who’s previous work consists of Television work and Documentaries, she provides us with an acceptable film for Martin Luther King Jr, but this is a project that I think deserves an iconic figure behind to really portray the emotion of this time period. David Oyelowo, the star of the film is absolutely superb; his performance as Martin Luther King Jr had me gripped throughout the film. His performance really carries the film as his powerful and iconic voice echoed through the screen, it felt like we were watching the real Martin Luther King Jr on screen once more.
This review is most likely cause a few talking points as I didn’t really enjoy the film that much. The true story is emotional and unbelievable, and I have the upmost respect for the people of Selma participating in the march back in the 1960’s, but I feel all the people of Selma and Martin Luther King Jr deserve a better portrayal. That being said, I am not saying this is a bad film at all, because it’s far from it, but I don’t think the high praise it has been receiving has been justified. Apart from David Oyelowo’s performance of course, that’s one which is really tricky. Personally, I thought his performance is better than Benedict Cumberbatch’s and Bradley Cooper’s in ‘The Imitation Game’ & ‘American Sniper’, but to be given a nomination for Best Picture, personally, that’s a big no.
‘Selma’ is very slow off the pace and does take a while until it really gets into the story. All being said, ‘Selma’ is an alright film, a stunning performance from David Oyelowo credits ‘Selma’ with 3.5 out of 5 stars.