Director Ava DuVernay's Selma tells the story of the historic 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other noted civil rights activists. The film also covers events in the three months leading up to the march, including King’s continued efforts to secure support for voting rights legislation from President Lyndon Johnson. Although uneven in spots, the film is an authentic and powerful look at a critical juncture in the civil rights movement. David Oyelowo is excellent as King, as is Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, but the film suffers during the scenes they share from the unfortunate lack of chemistry between them. Many of King’s personal moments on screen seem rather muddled, perhaps an attempt to inject a sense of self-doubt that was rarely visible in public, but I’m not sure that this is entirely effective. Overall though, Selma is a well-done chronicle of these events, and a timely reminder of a history that still has strong influences on American society.
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