Boy vs Bird who will win?

I’ve been a bad film fan this year.  I haven’t made it to all the Best Picture nominees, which is the very least I could do in the name of objectivity, but I still want to see if that changes how I think the whole shebang will turn out.

On #Oscarssowhite, Ava DuVernay was a not surprising (given the make up of the Oscars voters) but a disappointing omission. As Selma points out, if you aren’t able to have a voice to vote, how will that voice be heard?  That said I don’t think she was the Best Director so I hope she keeps making films the academy can’t ignore and gets the recognition she deserves.  I am equally annoyed that Mike Leigh, Damien Chazelle and Amma Asante weren’t nominated, but hey I love Iñárritu & Linklater.  The weakest director in this category is The Imintation Game’s Morten Tyldum (although I loved the film- he’d make my top 10) but didn’t effect me nearly as much as Belle, Whiplash, Selma or Mike Leigh every time he makes a film.

This is less informed than I’d like, however my final predictions are: Continue reading


Quick Fire Review : Selma

Here’s The Trailer

Who is in it?

David “what do you mean there are no decent British roles for coloured actors” Oyelowo, Carmen “I’m not Tessa Thompson” Ejogo, Oprah “even I can’t get Ava DuVernay an Oscar Nomination” Winfrey, Tom & Tim “no Americans were harmed in the making of this film” Wilkinson & Roth, Lorraine “My glasses need their own Oscar” Toussaint, Dylan “always the creepiest dude in the room” Baker.

What is it about?

In the fight for Civil Rights, Martin Luther King takes the cause of the people of Selma to the US President. He highlights how Selma’s black citizens face enormous trials in registering for their legal right to vote and brutality at the hands of the authorities in the town.

Why did I want to watch it?

Black Woman director, check, Oscar baity biopic of an important political figure, check, Costume porn…

Did I like it?

The performances are majestic, the script is fabulous, it’s wonderfully paced and the scenery is beautifully shot. The dramatic tension is maintained throughout, whether the political standoffs or personal ones, and even though some serious injustices are given an airing, I didn’t feel bludgeoned by it (unlike Oprah).  The drama is excellently played and it felt like natural storytelling rather than historical lecturing.

I have always voted and this film reminded me why, even in the face of limited ideological differences between political parties, it is still important to try and have my say on things I care about, because people fought hard with their lives for that basic right.

It also reflects really well  how the Oscars voting system works, if you aren’t there to have a voice then you won’t be represented.

Should you watch it?

Absolutely. It has hit my top 3 of the Best Picture nominees – Birdman & Whiplash are the 2 others.

I also think it should be a stalwart of schools History lessons.

Does it pass the Bechdel Test?

It does, I only caught one scene, but it’s a great one with Coretta King discussing her role and struggles as Martin Luther King’s wife.

Watch this instead/as well/before/after:

Spike Lee’s, Malcolm X, for another side of the story, Talk To Me for a more light hearted biopic directed by an overlooked woman director – it also touches on the death of Dr King.