Aaaand...let the Oscar season begin. Paramount's release of the first trailer for SELMA comes right on time for the typical awards bait kickoff. The film, directed by Ava Duvernay (Middle of Nowhere) follows Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's tumultuous campaign for equal voting rights which resulted in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Duvernay, with screenwriter Paul Webb, was wise to not make the film yet another cradle to the grave biopic that wouldn't tell us anything new. Instead, she focused on the three pivotal months of King's fight that were met with violent opposition.
Though he doesn't particularly look like King, David Oyelowo (who can be seen in Interstellar opening Friday) steps into his massive shoes and actually seems to command the screen in the trailer -- which highlights the epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The rest of the cast is also illustrious, featuring Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi Common, Carmen Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper” -- most of whom appear in this two-minute trailer. More on the film in the synopsis below:
SELMA is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. Director Ava DuVernay’s SELMA tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered history.
While I can't say I'm that enthusiastic about seeing another civil rights set film, I absolutely love this cast, and I am really, really curious to see how Duvernay tackled this particular story. Not only because she's a woman who have discovered some of the nuances of this period, but also because this is a gargantuan project for a filmmaker mostly known for microindie projects. The trailer is definitely impressive. Check it out:
SELMA is in select theaters December 25th, and will open nationwide January 9th.