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Selma (2014)

Rick Kitchen
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God, Selma just tears at my soul.  I can remember these events, and I'm worried that kids will think they didn't happen.


In fact, what happened was even worse than what is shown on the screen.


David Oyelowo brings King to life, and every actor, from top to bottom, is superb.  I want to single out Henry G. Sanders, who plays Cager Lee, and Lorraine Toussant as Amelia Boynton.  Especially the latter, brings so much to a rather quiet role.


Historians may complain about Johnson's portrayal, but there are a lot of things that were different in this.  The killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson happened in Marion, Alabama, not Selma.  And they should have shown that the Reverend Reeb, who was beaten to death by white men, had to be taken to a hospital in Birmingham two hours away, because the hospital in Selma refused to treat him, even though he was white.


But it's a shattering movie.  Almost all of the audience in the theater where I saw it sat quietly in their seats as the credits rolled, instead of standing and leaving early.  Of course, maybe John Legend and Common's song over the closing credits may have something to do with that.


9 out of 10 stars.


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The audience in my theater did the same thing.


It's one of the few movies I've seen recently where I could hardly stand to watch the violence - it was awfully intense for PG-13. Probably because it happened in real life and I couldn't just write it off as CGI movie fake. 

I agree on the superb acting as well. 

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I just got back from seeing this movie and thought it was outstanding.  Wonderful performances all the way around, as well as great direction.  I hope it gets a number of Oscar nominations. 


I wasn't born when all of this was happening, so I didn't know the whole story.  I knew about the march that led to the violence, but wasn't aware of the next two.  I know there has been a complaint about the accuracy of the meetings with LBJ, but I haven't heard if there were other controversies over other historical facts.  I want to research it a bit more, then, when it comes out on DVD, I'd like my son to see it (I want to research it so I can not only provide more information, but correct whatever might have been inaccurate).


The two moments that moved me the most were when Amelia was telling Coretta about how she can be so strong in the face of such violence and when MLK was meeting with the 82 year old whose grandson was killed in the diner. 


Speaking of Amelia--I read the article about how she had a private screening of it in her home.  It didn't say what she thought of it, though. I told my family about it and my son (16 years old) wondered how she was able to watch something that had to have been so painful for her.  I  wonder what was going through her mind? 

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I saw this yesterday and loved it. It was certainly hard to watch at moments but it was truly special. The acting was superb. I thought Lorraine Toussant was touching and both Oyelowo and Ejogo brought two complicated characters to life. Of all the "award bait" movies I've seen so far, this is probably my favourite. The direction and script were tight and interesting. This was a big success.


As for the LBJ controversy, what are these people talking about? He's shown as a shrewd political mind who knows whats right from wrong but also knows that he only has so much political capital. I'm not as well versed on his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, but from seeing this film, he seems like someone who was on the side of good.

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I am not a big movie person, but I loved this film. I thought it was incredibly powerful and haunting (the scenes of violence definitely called to mind Ferguson for me).

And I can't say enough about the performances. David Oyelowo is truly outstanding, as is Carmen Ejogo. But all the actors were top notch.

Most importantly, this film made me think long after I left the theater. I can't think of a better review for such a film.

Edited by Gillian Rosh
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I saw it yesterday and thought it was outstanding. It deserves way more than the two Oscar nominations it got, however well-deserved they are. David Oyelowo was perfection. He captured the greatness, the dignity and the humanity of Dr. King flawlessly. He was definitely robbed of an Oscar nomination, as were Carmen Ejogo's Coretta Scott King, Tom Wilkinson's LBJ and Ava DuVernay's direction. As for the inaccuracies, my verdict: so what? All docudramas mess with the truth in one way or another and have for decades. As long as the King family's cool with it, then so am I. The theater I saw it in was not only jam-packed, they applauded at the end of Dr. King's final speech. I not only stayed for the end credits, I even left the theater singing "This Little Light of Mine."

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I saw this today. I've been meaning to since it opened, but it just felt...right, I guess, to see it on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. 


What a film. I honestly & truly feel like this should be required viewing for every American, despite whatever little docudrama nitpicks exist, because this is our history and also our present. Like Common & John Legend have said, Selma is now. 


Anyways, I thought the performances were electric and the music stunning (I was already a huge fan of "Glory" but now need the rest of the soundtrack). There were some small parts of the story I had a hard time following--King going back and forth to Atlanta/DC and not always being able to tell where he was and why--but overall? Stunning. Simply stunning.

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I saw it on streaming tonight..Fantastic. Loved it...and yet, it saddened me as it doesn't feel like much progress has been made....

The film was robbed at the Oscars...andt he soundtrack was haunting in all it's glory...

I'm a folk music fan so the shout out to "Peter, Paul AND Mary" made me laugh for some reason when singer-songwriter John Stewart was there in Selma as well...

Overall, impressive acting and impressive story...

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I haven't seen the movie (*hangs head*) but I did read some stuff about the controversy over the protrayal of LBJ. I came across this article about those criticisms that I thought I'd share: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/01/10/376081786/selma-backlash-misses-the-point

Thanks for sharing. I just saw Selma last week, I'll admit it took more than one sitting to get through it but I thought it was an excellent film.  Unfortunately a lot of what happened all those years ago is still raw today and I continue to be horrified at the gross inhumanity we are people are capable of. One thing I really disagree with is the portrayal of LBJ as a villain , I didn't it that way at all.  He was acting as politicians act but I just didn't see him as evil.  All the actors did a wonderful job. I don't think I would watch it again but I'm glad I saw it.

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I finally saw this last night from a Netflix DVD.  given recent events, I find it very important to be reminded of history.  That the Voting Rights Act, which took these heruclean efforts by Dr. King and others is now practically gutted is a crime, as violations of voting rights continue to this day.  It also depicts how civil war 'memoriabilia' was and is always used for intimidation.  

Wonderful performances.  I think this is a movie that should be shown in schools.

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Several comments above talk about how everyone should see this because it's so relevant today. I'm writing this post several years later, and it's only gotten MORE heartbreakingly relevant and current. It's hard to watch these stories and especially to seek them out, but we have to.

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