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View Full Version : Selma (Ava DuVernay)



Henry Gale
01-08-2015, 06:17 AM
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-bLQHtzGVy6U/VJ2pKlIgBFI/AAAAAAAAwXA/E-iIG6zHhGo/w800-h800/http___i60.tinypic.com_2eb4i15 .jpg

IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1020072/) / Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selma_%28film%29)

Henry Gale
01-08-2015, 08:50 AM
Strongly crafted, effectively emotionally vigorous, and of course so guttingly potent in any and every modern reverberant lens it lends itself to whether you'd like to give it one or not. It's an odd thing to not want its material and the dialogue (invented or not) of King and his colleagues to feel as triumphantly audacious or relatably inspiring as it does because it all takes place a half-century ago and so many of its ripples have yet to dissipate in our current consciousness.

It's really capably, compactly delivered, even when DuVernay's style feels plainly framed and designed in an unflashly, to-the-point way, which also makes the odd bolder flourish stand out a bit more both since they can feel out of character and or simply don't impress the way the film may like them to. (Slow-mo shots with silent/muffled ambience aren't what they used to be.) But the storytelling, the performances and the consistent beating, weighted heart of it allows it such an incredible amount of leeway that to find significant issues with it as a formal piece ultimately distracts from the strength of its mesmerizing emotional endurance.

Also, at the end of our screening, Stephan James, the actor who plays John Lewis in it, revealed by stepping out of my row that he was there all along and then was given the mic to speak in an unstructured post-movie thank-you and back-and-forth of sorts simply because, as he revealed to our Toronto audience, that he's from here and wanted the experience of seeing it at home with an audience. It was a little anecdote that really made me think how for an audience like us, and even actors like him and especially David Oyelowo being from the U.K., if a film like this has the ability to holds this much power for those on the outside looking in on these events, I can't even imagine what it's like for those not only who lived it then, but still find themselves there in whatever form or location today, questioning how much has really changed while continuing to live that reality. The only way is forward, and if a film like this can genuinely ignite the right people into noticing there's still that direction to move in, then it's already gone above and beyond its worth to exist as just an extremely efficiently-made film, and then we can make sure there's not a need for a similar film to be made about our present in 2065.

***1/2 / 8.7

TGM
01-09-2015, 10:50 PM
Yeah, this was absolutely incredible I thought. Probably the most important movie that one can watch right now, and one that so many people can learn a good thing or two from as well.

ledfloyd
01-10-2015, 03:38 AM
I liked it quite a bit, but wasn't completely in love with it. Certain sequences are so damned powerful though. There's an energy to the filmmaking in those moments that's kind of undeniable. And yeah, I hope lots of people see it just for it's social impact.

Watashi
01-10-2015, 06:17 AM
I've seen people clap at the end of movies (mostly at screenings), but never have I seen a film receive a standing ovation until now.

Completely deserved.

Mal
01-17-2015, 10:04 PM
I liked it quite a bit, but wasn't completely in love with it. Certain sequences are so damned powerful though. There's an energy to the filmmaking in those moments that's kind of undeniable. And yeah, I hope lots of people see it just for it's social impact.

Yes this. Oyelowo was good but didn't find him as compelling as previously noted by many in the mainstream. This film reminded me of The Butler but made by a more compentent filmmaker and with less Oprah screentime.

Pop Trash
01-19-2015, 06:59 AM
This is undeniably solid. The main gripe I have is with some of the cutaways to the white politicians (namely Wallace and Johnson) that seem to come from a different movie. The movie is usually so focused and lived-in when dealing with MLK and the other (mostly black) organizers that I felt like the only scenes with Johnson should have been the ones where MLK is physically present. Plus that would mostly get rid of the controversy involving these scenes. Speaking of which, I don't think they ever portrayed Johnson as a 'bad guy' just someone who had a load of other priorities and wanted to move on from civil rights. Obviously, MLK had his own priorities that conflicted with Johnson.

dreamdead
03-13-2015, 04:51 PM
I liked it quite a bit, but wasn't completely in love with it.

This. Carmen Ejogo, who played Coretta, was magnificent but this is a film that works so wonderfully precisely because of the inherent idiocy of midcentury racial politics. Only Coretta is really granted interiority; the rest of the film is more of a reflection, a screen, of the action that was generated but it never quite captures the internal struggles that were earlier afforded to her. Some of the early Oprah prologue, and the details with the Jackson murder, could have been fleshed out more directly.

While it doesn't quite match up to this film's aim, the end-credit comment on Viola Liuzzo begs for a film all on its own (rather than the various documentaries that she's been featured in so far).