After seeing Selma with son Brian – who was born the year after Selma – this afternoon at the Mariemont Theatre, I am wondering why only one Oscar nomination. The director and the actor playing Martin Luther King, Jr. should definitely have been nominated. At the very least.
So much for the technical side of things. Tears were running down my fact for most of the movie. Those images are just what I remembered from the news coverage in those long ago days. White guys being vicious, enjoying the heck out of beating up black folk. And Martin in his speech at the Montgomery, Alabama, statehouse pointing out that it was all organized by rich white guys, who convinced the poor white guys that at least they were better, and better off, than black folk. And that is still going on, lest we forget.
I found the dissension in the SNCC ranks riveting – and very understandable. Martin’s lack of faithfulness is always awful to see – I know all that was woven into the fabric of the era, for both black and white guys. Too bad they all didn’t think about their legacies. Young guys are seemingly smarter kinder more loyal about all this now.
Coretta’s pain, courage, and correct behavior were wonderful – and, in a powerful way, quite awful as well. Her meeting with Malcolm X was terrific – I did not know that had happened.
Martin was riveting – the moral and physical center of the action. I loved the scene on the bridge when he knelt to pray, got up – and walked back off the bridge. God and his intuition had obviously spoken. And, later, it was clear that was the correct action to take.
I do think a better portrait of Lyndon Johnson might have been drawn. But he was a politician in every cell of his body, and good at the game, and those were his natural actions. He definitely didn’t like being beaten at it, as Martin did. And the movie was quite fair. None of those criticisms people are making detract from an incredible film.
I’m sure I’ll stop crying sometime soon.