The Academy has presented us with quite an interesting eight film field for Best Picture this year. While half of the nominees are biopics – traditional Best Picture fare – we also have some rather audacious and distinctly non-traditional contenders. There is even a comedy in there! We also don’t have a cut and dry favourite, with different films having seemingly risen and faded over the last few weeks. What follows is a breakdown of the eight contenders chances and the arguments for and against for each. Continue reading
Director: Ava DuVernay
Starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejoga, Tom Wilkinson, Wendell Pierce, Common, Tim Roth, Stephan James, Andre Holland, Colman Domingo, Lorraine Toussaint, Oprah Winfrey
In their opening monologue for this year’s Golden Globe Awards, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler introduced Selma with a pointed joke: “The movie Selma is about the civil rights movement which totally worked and now everything is fine.” It was a good line. It got a big laugh. But it also perfectly captured why, in 2015, it is hard not to experience Ava DuVernay’s powerful, inspiring and triumphant film without feeling just a tinge of sadness. That sadness comes from the knowledge that half a century on from the Selma march, in a world of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Ferguson, we still have so far to go.
It may seem hard to believe, but Selma is the first time we have seen a theatrically released studio film with Martin Luther King Jr as its protagonist. But Selma is not a biopic as such. Great films will often focus on a specific story in order to illuminate a greater one. As such, DuVernay does not attempt to tell the entirety of Dr King’s story. We don’t see the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Birmingham campaign or the “I have a dream” speech. Instead, the film focuses in on the 1965 campaign by King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Continue reading