For the third time now Odeon Cinemas have hosted their Screen Unseen event. Previously the films have been Nightcrawler and Whiplash and Odeon continue to meet the high standard that they have set themselves as this time the film was Selma. Selma tells the story of a march in aid of voting rights led by Martin Luther King.
If I am honest I wasn’t too excited for Selma, this type of film never really does – it is similar to 12 Years a Slave in some of its themes but at the same time it is entirely different. Despite my lack of anticipation I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The cast were tremendous in this film, each member delivered their role with confidence and were effortlessly convincing. There were a lot of big names in Selma, some portrayed main characters and others played smaller roles. The likes of Tom Wilkinson, Oprah Winfrey, Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Martin Sheen and Cuba Gooding Jr all brought a great presence to the screen and paved the way for the lesser known actors and actresses to make there mark on Selma, which they certainly did. David Oyelowo takes centre stage as Martin Luther King, physically he delivers as he has a striking resemblance to the man himself here. However his performance is much more than physical, my favourite aspect of his portrayal of MLK was his deliverance of his speeches. We of course know that MLK was famous for his public speaking and in Selma Oyelowo was wholly convincing. The power he had was quite something and every time he delivered a speech in the film it made me want to hear MLK give a speech in real life, I wanted to be in that audience, I wanted to hear it for myself. Any film that can have this effect on you deserves praise.
There were so many powerful sequences in the film, several of which made the hairs on my arms and legs stand on their ends. I was so engaged in these moments and had to fight to hold back the tears on several occasions, there are some devastating moments in this film but they all serve a greater purpose as they help to tell this amazing story. Selma is brutally honest in its portrayal of its events and rightfully so, it will do everyone good to see just how things used to be and thankfully how far we have come. I honestly found it hard to believe what I was watching, this actually happened! I haven’t been quite so involved in a film like this before, I really cared for those people who were being mistreated, I wanted to do something about it, I was ready to march with them. I enjoyed the use of the real life footage too and I thought this was included at the appropriate moment and in the right quantity.
Selma is a fantastic film, the cast spoil their audience with quality performances and screen presence. The film is engaging and involving and builds on what we saw last year in 12 Years a Slave. I completely understand its Best Picture nomination for this years Oscars. Selma is educational, inspirational and emotional. Amongst all this though as a film it manages to achieve a level of entertainment too and will be easily re-watchable in the future.
BIGGEST FLAW – The aspect of Martin Luther King’s personal life could have been handled better
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Engaging the audience so much
Rating – 10/10