David Oyelowo and Ava DuVernay Talk SELMA, Bringing Martin Luther King Jr. To Life On Screen, Their Most Memorable Scene, and More

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Selma is a beautifully designed film that not only hits you emotionally in the gut, but also makes you feel for the humanity that the Civil Rights movement was fighting for.  While Martin Luther King Jr. was just a man, he spoke for and to people willing to defy intimidation, face economic retaliation, and endure arrests and beatings, all in hopes of provoking a transformative confrontation that would give African Americans the basic rights that they so desperately wanted and deserved.  Expertly directed by Ava DuVernay, the film stars David Oyelowo (in an award-worthy performance as Dr. King), Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey, Andre Holland, Common, Giovanni Ribisi, Tessa Thompson, Dylan Baker, Alessandro Nivola and Omar Dorsey.

During a roundtable interview at the film’s press day, actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay talked about taking on someone so very well known, never hesitating in showing the violence and aggression that took place, the challenges of making Martin Luther King Jr. human, casting actors who best fit around David Oyelowo, making the dream to play Dr. King a reality, the most memorable scene they experienced together, what the prep work was like, having some of the real people around, and the flavor that being in the real locations added to the film.  Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Oscar Beat: The Best Director Race at a Glance

by     Posted 20 days ago


As we head out of the Thanksgiving holiday, studios have been scrambling to get screeners out to critics and voters before early December deadlines, and some of the year’s later releases are finally starting to be seen, which means the Oscar race is becoming much clearer.  We already have one potentially huge game-changer in the form of Selma, which has enjoyed enthusiastically positive response from its initial screenings, but that film also throws a curious prospect into the mix: for the first time in history, could we actually have two female directors nominated for the Best Director Oscar?

After the jump, I consider this question as I take a look at the current state of the rather crowded Best Director race in this edition of Oscar Beat.

Potential Oscar Contenders AMERICAN SNIPER and SELMA to Premiere at AFI Fest Tomorrow

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Two big question marks in this year’s Oscar race will be illuminated tomorrow.  AFI Fest had been touting a “secret sneak peek” screening on Tuesday, November 11th as part of its festivities, and today they announced that the film will indeed be Clint Eastwood’s military drama American Sniper.  While Eastwood’s been hit-and-miss as of late (more miss than hit, to be frank), American Sniper has been a passion project for star/producer Bradley Cooper, who plays Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who served four tours in Iraq and became the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history.  The excellent first trailer hinted that Eastwood might be digging into some of the larger issues surrounding Kyle’s reputation, and we’ll find out if it’s a return to form tomorrow night.

Additionally, the Martin Luther King Jr.-centric Civil Rights drama Selma was initially slated to screen half an hour of footage tomorrow, but after the overwhelmingly positive response to the debut trailer, the decision has been made to show the entire film.  More on both American Sniper and Selma after the jump.

SELMA Trailer and Poster Offer a Commendably Visceral Take on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Civil Rights March

by     Posted 42 days ago


Paramount Pictures has released the first trailer for Selma, director Ava DuVernay’s upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic.  David Oyelowo takes on the role of Dr. King in the film, which recounts the epic, dangerous, and terrifying civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama that resulted in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  One of the things I love about this trailer is that it actually shows the insane amount of danger these people were in and the incredible stakes they where facing.  Too many films have downplayed the brutality of the racist masses of the south during this period, and I’m glad this one seems to finally be shirking that timidity off.

Oyelowo is joined in the cast by Carmen EjogoTom WilkinsonAndre HollandOmar J. DorseyTessa ThompsonTim RothWendell Pierce, and Colman Domingo.  The film will open in limited release on Christmas Day before expanding nationwide on January 9, 2015.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer and take a voter eligibility test.  You’ll feel hope and more than a little bit of rage at the same time. 

First SELMA Images Reveal David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr.; Plus New Images from INTO THE WOODS and BIG HERO 6

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Paramount Pictures has released the first Selma images from director Ava DuVernay’s upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic.  David Oyelowo takes on the role of Dr. King in the film, which recounts the epic, dangerous, and terrifying civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama that resulted in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  It’s a story that’s both inspiring and heartbreaking, as it evokes humanity at its best and worst.  Oyelowo is joined in the cast by Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Andre Holland, Omar J. Dorsey, Tessa Thompson, Tim Roth, Wendell Pierce, and Colman Domingo.  The film will open in limited release on Christmas Day before expanding nationwide on January 9, 2015.

Hit the jump to check out the first Selma images, along with new images from the Disney musical Into the Woods and Disney’s animated comic book adaptation Big Hero 6.

Writer-Director Ava DuVernay Signs on to Helm Civil Rights Film SELMA

by     Posted 1 year, 160 days ago


Writer-director Ava DuVernay (I Will Follow, Middle of Nowhere) has reportedly signed on to Selma, the film centering on the Civil Rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s march from Selma to Montgomery.  The first Black woman to win Best Director at Sundance, DuVernay has been scouting filming locations and working on the script with Paul Webb since April of this year.  DuVernay will reunite with Middle of Nowhere’s lead, David Oyelowo, who will play King in Selma.  Hit the jump for more.

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted and Original Screenplay, and Technical Category Quick Picks

by     Posted 2 years, 24 days ago


We’re continuing on with our weeklong preview of the upcoming 85th Academy Awards, and after running down both acting categories it’s time to take look at some of the other races.  Today we’ll be looking at the Best Animated Feature, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay categories in depth, and I’ll also make some way-too-early quick picks in the technical categories.  The fun begins after the jump.

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