Director Ava DuVernay ("Scandal") brings us a PG-13 film about Martin Luther King. Screenwriter Paul Webb wisely limited this story to one situation in 1965 rather than try to encompass the entire American Civil Rights Movement and/or the complete life and times of Martin Luther King. We start with MLK receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, then we segue to the church where the four little girls are blown up. These are two of the events which sealed Dr. King's destiny.
This cast includes:
- * David Oyelowo ("The Help") isMartin Luther King, not a saint, not a devil, just an ambitious man with a dream, and guaranteeing the right to vote for all citizens is the obvious beginning.
- * Carmen Ejogo ("Alex Cross") isCoretta Scott King, trying to make sense of the life in which she finds herself...her and her children!
- * Tim Roth ("Arbitrage") isGeorge Wallace, the Governor of Alabama who crosses swords with our hero in Selma and Lyndon Baines Johnson in Washington D.C. We greeted news of his defeats with glee.
- * Tom Wilkinson ("The Grand Budapest Hotel") isLyndon Baines Johnson, President of the United States during this perilous time. He ultimately signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but not until after he tries delaying, negotiating, and delivering ultimatums, all to no avail.
- * Dylan Baker (Lots of TV) isJ. Edgar Hoover, who has placed MLK on his Enemies List.
- * Oprah Winfrey ("Lee Daniels' The Butler") isAnnie Lee Cooper, whose attempt to register illustrates the impediments thrown up for blacks who want to vote.
The first four actors are actually British, working over here in the Colonies, bringing their skills and wonderful training to our shores. I'm being a bit facetious, but American actors continue to lose ground... Why don't they ask ME? Aarghhh!
The script makes each separate issue and point of view crystal clear, no easy feat when you consider how complex the situation was in 1965. I was never confused but I WAS impressed by the skills brought to the screen by the entire cast. Kudos!