|Rotten Tomatoes on Selma|
I figured that because of the playoff game between Seattle and Green Bay that the movie at 12:00pm would be lightly attended. That was an understatement: I was the only person in the huge theater until about five minutes after the show started, when another woman came in by herself. The weather outside was frightful; lots of rain and wind, and most of Bellingham was inside hunkered around the TV, watching the playoff game. Now the weather is sunny and will stay that way until Thursday, my hiking day. (grump)
I loved the movie, plain and simple. It tells the story of the three-month period in 1965 when Martin Luther King rallied support in Selma, Alabama to secure voting rights for the black people in Alabama who were not able to register. Plenty of the scenes brought to life the injustices of the period: Oprah Winfrey plays a black woman who tries to register to vote, and she's expected to know the entire preamble of the Constitution (which she did) and the names of all the judges in Alabama, which of course she didn't. The actor who plays King (David Oyelowo) gained thirty pounds for the role, and he embodied King amazingly well. I was disappointed that neither he nor the director were nominated for their contributions to the movie. But I suspect that this movie will continue to be shown for decades, it's that good, long after others also nominated for Best Picture will be forgotten.
I wanted to see it on MLK weekend when we celebrate his life, and Judy wasn't available to go with me, so I went alone. I would see it again in a second, although there were some very very disturbing scenes as people were attacked and even murdered for their beliefs. Of course, in the end that's also what happened to Dr. King. We have come a long way, but we still have a ways to go. See the movie if you can, in my opinion it deserves to win.
When I left the theater, I asked the usher if she had heard anything about the game, and she told me that unfortunately we were losing big time, 16 to nothing at the half. Saddened, I came home to turn on the rest of the game and see how badly we lost. Well, that game didn't even start until the last five minutes, when we staged the most amazing comeback, then Green Bay tied it up, and it went into Overtime. What a game! So I got the best of both worlds: I got to see the movie and see the best of the game, too.
|Rotten Tomatoes on Whiplash|
As far as the movie, it's perfectly filmed and performed, and many parts of it had my heart pounding so hard that I was exhausted when I left the theater. It's that kind of movie. If you see it and have more to say about it, let me know in the comments. I wonder how other people felt about the story.
So now I've seen all the nominated movies except American Sniper. It wasn't loved quite as much by the critics, with a 73% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but I'm not sure I want to see it. It's touted as a pro-war movie by Clint Eastwood, and I hesitate to go. I felt the same way last year about "12 Years a Slave" (because of the brutality) and I went anyway (by myself) and was glad I did. I'll probably see Sniper before it's all over. I still have to see Foxcatcher and Still Alice, anyway. They are not playing here quite yet.
If I were giving out the Oscars, Best Picture would go to Selma. But I'm not giving out the awards, and I hear that Boyhood is the likely winner. It is really good, I agree, but it's in a class by itself. I think it would be very hard to choose a winner among this year's nominees for Best Picture. We'll know on February 22.