This perfect performance from David Oyelowo deserves an Oscar. As does Ava DuVernay’s direction of the marvelous movie “Selma”. It is weird that wasn’t even nominated.
Tom Wilkinson’s LBJ and Tim Roth’s George Wallace are career-defining turns and either would be worthy of Best Supporting Actor Oscars. Are memories of Ferguson too raw? Has Oscar gone mad?
It is notoriously difficult to film events that are known to older folks and seen regularly on YouTube by everyone. Yet within seconds, you forget that Oyelowo and Wilkinson are Brits.
Oprah Winfrey, Carmen Ojogo and Andre Holland are all wonderful in this. The whole ensemble is terrific.
After seeing this extraordinary film, I spent some time on Google maps exploring Selma, Alabama. I learned that Edmund Pettus – who gave is name to that iconic bridge crossed by Dr Martin Luther King and others marching for the right to vote – was a creature of his time. A judge and a Confederate general, he led the Alabama Ku Klux Klan.
Bearing in mind the tough issues of 1965 and of now, Paul Webb’s script rings true and flows well. The look of this, the music and the recreation of real events all have the power to shock the viewer, 50 years on.
Just go see it. The very-packed Screen 1 at the Stratford East Picturehouse was stunned and wowed, in equal measures.