SELMA Review – Emotionally Riveting, Pivotal, Electrifying

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

"SELMA," from Pathe, Harpo Productions, Plan B Entertainment and Paramount Pictures, presents an emotionally riveting confrontation driven account of the 1965 passage of the Voter's Right Act and the explosion of violence which gripped hearts and stunned a nation.


Directed by Ava DeVernay, "SELMA" stars David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King. "SELMA" also stars Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Common, Cuba Gooding Jr., Martin Sheen, Dylan Baker, Keith Stanfield, Wendell Pierce, Andre Holland, Nigel Thatch and Jeremy Strong.

"SELMA" opens with the presentation of Nobel Peace Prize to Martin Luther King, Jr for his non-violent commitment to the Civil Rights Movement which had been met throughout with heinous violence in retaliation against those and the supporters who wanted full citizenship.

Historically, there are several key points within the Civil Rights movement that defined it to the nation, and the world, one of course being the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist church on Sunday in Birmingham, Alabama, which four girls were killed. Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, and the two subsequent Selma to Montgomery Marches became pivotal turning points.

To Ms. DeVernay's credit she kept a racial balance in the film as the heat of the season we live has created an acceptable segregation.

She included the account of James Reeb. A white reverend from Boston in Birmingham answering Martin Luther King's call to the nation. Reeb was murdered, viciously beaten by supporters of segregation, for helping King and also Viola Liuzo murdered five hours after the dream to register voters in Selma was realized by Klansmen for her assistance in the Civil Rights movement.

Violence had always undergirded the strategy of those determined to maintain the status quo of race separation.

"SELMA" depicts the confrontation between worlds as Martin Luther King and his non-violent peaceful change movement, which was based on the teachings of Ghandi who also utilized a non-violent strategy to force change.

Martin Luther King, Jr., played brilliantly by David Oyelowo, refused to allow those whom hated, and I'm not sure if the motivation for such violent hate was change, end the push for equality.

I also wonder if the years of abuse perpetrated against the African people, from the days of slavery, when men and women were stolen and families ripped apart, and a cycle of absenteeism males took root, and if the motivator of such venimous hate was fear of judicial repercussion if the dream of equality was realized.

Or if as is often simply stated, a proud tradition, which in ones right mind cannot withstand an argument. A proud tradition of violence, of hatred based on skin color, hatred based on appearance?

This obviously is not the place for a dissertation although there is some room for interpretation into the historical events that Ava DeVernay's presents.

As in the film, the movement of change was a powder keg and one misunderstood word or action the flint that ignites.

During the press day Ms. DeVernay's stated "SELMA" is not a documentary and that is reiterated during the end credits.

"SELMA" is a fictionalized account staying as close as possible to the external events as seen around the world and as close as one would expect and believe the interaction between a married couple, an absent husband, a scared wife with young children, threats of retaliation, strained friendships and the horror of everyday living with graphic and accepted violence.

The film, of course, has the crucial moment's central to the Civil Rights Movement. The first, March 7, Bloody Sunday, and those who participated deserve to be forever memorialized, when during the initial attempt the 600 marchers faced a slaughter by Alabama State Troopers, brutalized, beaten with barbed wire wrapped bats, police batons, riders charging with whips, the violence was indescribable and vividly brought to the screen it was graphic, realistic, lifelike and explicitly portrayed.

The film depicts New York Times Reporter, played by John Merical, a white man, phoning in the accounts his account also emotionally commanding.

The second march, two days later, as and MLK utilized media better than most for his generation, he was well aware to spread a non-violent peaceful message, in a country where segregation was still considered the norm the media must assist.

The resilience and tenacity of Dr. King and those who witness loved ones slaughtered, beaten, and within three weeks on March 21, the third and final March successfully marches across Edmund Pettus Bridge with approximately thousands joining from all walks of life, across races, aligned with by a single belief in humanity and the rights of all Americans to live free and fully.

Performance across the board are gripping, powerful, authentic and as Tim Roth who portrays Alabama Governor George Wallace stated when asked how he dealt with the material to which he replied "you have to get in touch with your inner racist and everyone has one. And To Ava's credit she encouraged it."

"Selma" is probably the most gifted ensemble performance to grace the screen in sometime and the acting is seamless, without flaw. All are deserving of mention, Oprah Winfrey again stuns as Annie Lee Cooper, Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson is exceptional, Common, as James Bevel, continues to build a reputation of one with real depth and range.

Keith Stanfield as Jimmie Lee Jackson is amazing; his scenes with Henry G. Sanders who portrays Cager Lee, his grandfather and Viola Jackson his mother are shocking with authenticity.

"SELMA" is transporting.  DeVernay is exceptional in her direction. She doesn't water down events, it was difficult not to shout or sob at the ignorance as it played.

To say gripping is mild, electrifying closer and the even then words seems weak in description.  

 "SLEMA" opens in select cities on Christmas Day.

Haute Tease

  • Two Major Earthquakes Rattle Alaska; Strongest Since 1964's 9.2

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two major earthquakes struck Anchorage, Alaska Friday morning, hitting just as businesses, schools and stores were opening for the day, sending frightened residents, into the streets, diving for cover and knocking local televisions stations off the air.

  • Swiss Forensic Specialist ID Frozen Couple

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Two mummified bodies, well preserved and intact, were identified by Swiss forensic specialist as that of a husband and wife who disappeared nearly 75 years ago after telling their children they were going to feed the animals.

  • STEP Review – An Uplifting, Triumphant, Docu-Drama

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    STEP, from Fox Searchlight Pictures, presents a documentary drama that showcases the first graduating class of the Baltimore Charter School, the effort the girls make to meet the challenges, and the dance team that unites them.

  • UPDATE: Sixth Child Dies; Three Remain Critical; Two in Fair Condition; 25 Others Released in Chattanooga Bus Crash

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Speed has continued to be the primary factor behind a deadly bus crash that killed six elementary school children and left five in extremely critical condition one day before the Chattanooga Tennessee School closed for Thanksgiving Day vacation.

  • Holiday Gift Giving: The Ultimate in 2015 Tech Toys, Devices and Gadgets

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    At SpecOut, we set out to create the ultimate tech gift guide, with product selections from more than a dozen categories. The gadgets, gizmos and geek-approved devices on this list range from inexpensive ($35) to pricey ($3,000), but they all represent the top tier of their respective markets.  

  • Fashion and Style Fixes and Tricks Review – A Round-Up for the Fashionista Everywhere

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Every fashionista knows that putting together a great look can often be fraught with problems, annoyances, or plain old doldrums. However, ever-clever apparel and accessory designers are continually bringing innovations to market that help ensure your efforts to rock chic, stylish and fresh looks don't hit a snag.  Here's one notable group of fixes, tricks and helpful conveniences to help you thwart a litany of fashion and footwear frustrations and even create looks that are unforgettable:

  • Largest Rare Quahog Pearl Discovered By Bostonian Shucking Clams To Lead Bonhams Lapidary Auction

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A rare and very large purple, non-nacreous Quahog pearl will be offered at the Lapidary Works of Art, Gemstones and Minerals auction to be held at Bonhams’ Los Angeles at 10 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016.

  • Valentine’s Day Gift Guide - For the Romantic, Lover, Friend and the Hopeful

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Valentine's Day the first holiday after the New Year that revives retailers, as the expected revenue tops $18Billion annually, with a burst of gift giving as the world succumbs to romantic fantasies, warm feelings of amour, roses, chocolates and love.

  • Celebrity Photos: Joel Edgerton, Lucy Liu, Daisy Ridley, Parker Sawyers Announce Medalists at 2016 Student Academy Awards®

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tonight honored 17 student winners from colleges and universities around the world at the 43rd Student Academy Awards® ceremony, held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. 

  • Yamashiro Launches Sunday Brunch Series Starting Mother's Day 2017

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Los Angeles' beloved Yamashiro Hollywood restaurant is launching a new Sunday Brunch buffet starting Mother's Day, May 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The iconic restaurant, which had exclusively served dinner only, will continue brunch service every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.   

  • Orlando Shooting Fuels Debate on Gun Control

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Early Sunday morning, right around last call, a gunman walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and opened fire with an assault rifle and handgun, killing 49 people and injuring 53.  

  • Su Gologone Hotel, of Sardinia, Italy, Introduces Su Gologone Style® Home Styling and Outdoor Decor

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Owner of Sardinia’s Su Gologone exquisite hotel, Mrs. Giovanna Palimodde, art collector and painter, proudly introduces Su Gologone Style,® a new lifestyle brand of cushions, tapestries and ceramics dedicated to home-décor lovers and inspired by Sardinia’s genuine traditions.

  • World News: Emmanuel Macron Faces His Defining Test

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    What is macronism? Subject of interrogation which does not tire to question quidams and political scientists in a world turned upside down and in lack of markers. And if precisely, macronism was the fruit of the absence of vision.

  • Magnificent Jewels Auction Showcases Rare Gems

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Sotheby's International Jewellery hosted an exquisite auction of the world's signature jewels, including a rare 100 Karat perfect diamond, capping a six month global tour in preparation for the springtime auction in New York City.

  • Beltway Insider: Trump Fails America; Charlottesville; Swedish Journo Murdered; Glen Campbell

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Donald J. Trump known for his twitter rants has once again used the micro messaging platform to send out veiled disapproval of the recent violence acts in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in three deaths and 19 injuries.