The Oprah Winfrey and Brad Pitt produced “Selma” received two thunderous standing ovations tonight at its first New York screening. Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary film about Martin Luther King’s history making civil rights March leaps right into the top tier of this year’s Oscar race. David Oyelowo gives the performance of a lifetime as King, defining him on film finally after all these years. Watching “Selma” you really feel like all the plays, movies, TV shows, songs– every theater piece about King– all of it culminates in this film.
I am not kidding when I say they were standing ovations, either. There’s a lump in your throat at the end of “Selma,” a movie that wisely takes a a snapshot of King’s life from the moment he wins the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 through the Selma march in 1965. It’s during this time that he successfully forces Lyndon Johnson to create and pass the Voters Rights Act. Tom Wilkinson is effortlessly good as a cantankerous LBJ who realizes his legacy could be destroyed by racist Alabama governor George Wallace (a perfectly slimy Tim Roth).
There’s really wonderful supporting work from Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Alessandro Nivola as John Doar (who just passed away in real life), both Lorraine Toussaint and Oprah Winfrey, and extended cameos from Martin Sheen and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Click here for more.
SOURCE: Showbiz 411 – Roger Friedman