David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson
Tim Roth as George Wallace
Common as James Bevel
Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King
Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper
Cuba Gooding, Jr. as Fred Gray
Niecy Nash as Richie Jean Jackson
Colman Domingo as Ralph Abernathy
Giovanni Ribisi as Lee C. White
Dylan Baker as J. Edgar Hoover
In theaters January 9
5 out of 5
Selma is a film about the challenges that Martin Luther King, Jr. and several civil right activists faced while organizing and carrying out voting rights protest marches in Selma, Alabama during the Voting Rights Movement in 1965. Blacks in the south were discouraged from voting and strictly prohibited from registering to vote by several ridiculous requirements, such as being able to recite the preamble to the constitution, poll taxes, naming all of the county judges, etc. Local Black residents began forming organizations charged with the goal of registering Black voters. One such organization the Dallas County Voters League asked King and other activists from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to join them in their efforts.
This film chronicles the struggle that they and the Black population faced as they continued to seek their rights as human beings and as American citizens and the struggle King had in trying to get the President to make this issue a priority in his administration.
In outlining the events leading up to the historic protest marches in Selma Alabama. This movie does not just give you the story it also lets you see the humanity of people in a very trying time. It shows you how real and how dire the civil rights fight was at this time in American history.
David Oyelowo gives a riveting performance in his portrayal of King. You see a very personal look inside the inner circle of King’s family and supporters. You understand that Martin Luther King is more than just an iconic figure or a symbol, he is a man who struggles with the challenges he faces balancing his work and family against the gravity and responsibility of the decisions he feels he has to make for the good of all, and that he is also all too aware of that responsibility.
Along with David Oyelowo, there is a stellar cast of fine performances: Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson, rapper Common as civil rights leader James Bevel, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper, and Tim Roth who gives a chilling turn as segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace.
With Selma, Director Ava DuVernay skillfully paints a clear and vivid picture of these events and the people who lived them. This movie is a civil rights master class that should be attended especially in light of the recent racial turmoil of Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter. This is a must see.
Check out the trailer for “SELMA” below: