Tagged: David Oyelowo

Review – Selma (2014)

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

SelmaIn 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

Review – A Most Violent Year (2014)

Director: J.C. Chandor

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, Albert Brooks, David Oyelowo, Elyes Gabel

Most Violent YearA Most Violent Year is the third film from writer-director J.C. Chandor, after Margin Call and All is Lost. While he doesn’t enjoy a high profile, Chandor has built himself an impressive body of work as one of those rare beasts: a filmmaker who makes movies for grownups.

Abel Morales and his wife Anna run an up-and-coming heating oil company, but find themselves in a crisis. Someone is hijacking their trucks. Drivers are being beaten, trucks taken and dumped with their contents stolen. The loss in revenue is building and the drivers are scared to go to work. The teamsters union is demanding Abel arm his drivers, but he fears escalation. Simultaneously, after a two year investigating into corruption in the heating oil industry the District Attorney is ready to start laying charges, including 14 against Abel’s company. All of this could not be happening at a worse time, as Abel has committed to an important property deal. He has put down a 40% deposit, everything he has, on a waterfront oil holding facility which will give them direct access to the oil tankers and the potential for dramatic growth. Continue reading