Selma
Image: Atsushi Nishijima / Paramount Pictures
Ralph Abernathy, Colman Domingo, David Oyelowo, Corey Reynolds, Tessa Thompson and C.T. Vivian in 'Selma'
Selma
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
 
(7 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (For disturbing thematic material including violence, a suggestive moment, and brief strong language.)
Genre
Directed By
Ava DuVernay
Run Time
2 hours 8 minutes
Cast
David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Jim France, Trinity Simone
Theatre Release
January 09, 2015 by Paramount Pictures

Last week I explored whether our art is up to dealing with the challenges of our times. I suggested that one of the difficulties facing artists is that there's simply more stuff to watch, and so even a great work simply gets seen by fewer people—which means we have fewer common texts to talk about, and fewer works that can move the needle substantially on our national conversations.

Having said all that, I'm going to do something I've only done once before, and also say this: you, Christianity Today reader, need to go see Selma.

See it while it's in the theater (Christmas Day in some markets and January 9 in the rest), and bring some friends or family members. It is a very, very good movie, beautifully shot by Bradford Young (Ain't Them Bodies Saints, A Most Violent Year) and deftly, almost astonishingly well-directed by relative newcomer Ava DuVernay. Its cast is terrific— Oprah Winfrey, Lorraine Toussaint, Common, Wendell Pierce, Keith Stanfield, Colman Domingo, André Holland, and many more, plus Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth as George Wallace. Carmen Ejogo is steady and heartbreaking as Coretta Scott King, and most importantly, David Oyelowo plays Dr. King himself.

Or is he most important? That's one question the film subtly explores—Oyelowo is marvelous, no doubt, and Young places him dead center in the frame over and over, thereby conveying the weight of the movement depending on him. The film opens with King receiving the Nobel Prize and uncovers his great strength as both an unmoveable force uninterested in what's convenient, and as a savvy strategizer who understands what must be done in a mediated age to force power to listen to truth. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These Next
Current IssueWant to Help Christians Stay in the Middle East? Start with Your Vacation.
Want to Help Christians Stay in the Middle East? Start with Your Vacation. Subscriber Access Only
Both pilgrims and pleasure seekers allow Arab believers to resist exodus amid ISIS.
RecommendedWhy We Need Wonder Woman
Why We Need Wonder Woman
Even when it falters, the new female-led film brings freshness to the superhero flick.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickMelvin Banks Had a Dream
Melvin Banks Had a Dream
An interview with the founder of the largest African American Christian publishing house.
Christianity Today
Selma
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.