Movie Review

You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl’s movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

SAN FRANCISCO KCBS) — KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl reviews “Selma,” the retelling of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s (David Oweloyo) march from Selma to Montgomery that led to the passage of the Voters Rights Act of 1965.

LISTEN:

SELMA (PG-13) 128 min
The filmmakers behind “Selma” did something smart: instead of attempting to pull off a broad biopic about Martin Luther King Jr., they concentrated on events leading up to the 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery as well as the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

There’s a focus on backstory and personalities—from Oprah Winfrey portraying a courageous woman determined to vote to King and his wife, Coretta (Carmen Ejogo)—filled with humanity and conviction. David Oyelowo gives a remarkable portrayal as King, giving us a man to believe and believe in with both flaws and bravery. Ejogo has that ethereal yet strong quality we associate with Mrs. King.

There are some weird casting decisions, however, with Tom Wilkinson as President Lyndon B. Johnson and as well as cameo by Tim Roth as George Wallace. The miscasting, especially LBJ, is distracting. Thankfully the story is so good, it the effect doesn’t last long.

Director Ava DuVernay’s focus on King’s relationship with his troops of supporters and the determination behind the struggle make “Selma” a terrific film—one definitely worth seeing.
 

 
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