Oscar Nominated Film Reviews: Selma and Boyhood

selmaboyhood
Movie posters for Selma and Boyhood films

By Adilene Rodriguez

Selma

By now most moviegoers know the story of Martin Luther King Jr. and his role in the Civil Rights Movement in America. “Selma” highlights the events that lead up to the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March in 1965. But what “Selma” most importantly does is tell the story of Martin Luther King Jr. the man. In some of the scenes, such as one where right before King heads out to Selma, he calls gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and request that she sings for him, soothing a visibly frightened King.

Scenes like these and scene we see him with his wife, Coretta Scott King (played by Carmen Ejogo, her second time playing this role), allows the viewers to see him in another light no other film about King has been able to do. Actor David Oyelowo portrays King with such humanity; the outrage over Oyelowo and “Selma” director Ava Duvernay not being nominated in this year’s Oscars is completely reasonable.

Final Rating: 10/10

Boyhood

Director Richard Linklater was able to transform the universal story of growing up, into a timeless piece of work. “Boyhood” is a coming of age story that made cinematic history by being the first film to be shot over the course of 12 years with the same cast, which includes Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, both nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Actor at this years Oscars.

The film tells the story of Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, a young boy who deals with the trials and tribulations of growing up with divorced parents, moving around, falling in love and figuring out what he wants to do with his future. You’re so entranced with the story and being empathetic to Mason and his family, you forget that you are watching the same actors aging before your eyes.

It is such an ingenious idea for a film, it’s hard to believe that this is the first time its ever been done and the simplicity of the story is what makes that much more genius. For any film maker who dares try to imitate this has their work cut out for them. And after Boyhood, it’s hard to imagine anyone else would, making Boyhood that much more exceptional.

Final Rating: 10/10


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