Fantastic film, should be required viewing. After seeing this getting snubbed by Oscar, I just had to see it to know. The lead actor portrayal of Dr. King is very strong. The scene in the coroner's office alone...
I went into the theatre with my buddy and we were the only whites in the audience. A group of friends in the backrow smiled at us when we walked in, it was sort of comical. There was one particular scene that was pretty tough and very sad and all I thought to myself was, "don't laugh, for the love of God, don't laugh" and of course I started snickering at the absurdity of the only whites in the theatre laughing at oppression. I wish I had just been making out during Schindler's List instead.
The movie is extraordinary with some huge performances. My only beef is I don't know why Oprah Winfrey puts herself in these films. I'm very much aware that, "hey, that's Oprah Winfrey trying to register to vote." and "hey look, Oprah Winfrey is hitting that police officer with her purse." I don't think you can cast people bigger than life in important movies like that. I had the same issue with Brad Pitt in 12 Years. Or Christian Slater in Star Trek VI (lol). It just takes you out of the film. I think I would have been more likely to not lose suspension of disbelief if it was any other woman and the mic b00m had been in the shot.
In the same way that I was floored by The Lives of Others, I once again am absolutely amazed that this is extremely recent history. 1964. It's hard to fathom that this was going on so recently. On the other said, President Barack Obama not even half a century later.
This is the first time I've come to understand the power of non-violent protest when trying to effectuate major change. Amazing. This movie fully succeeds as a docu-drama.
The movie also happily surprised me. i was certain I knew the destination of where we were headed while watching this, and I was very pleasantly surprised to end up somewhere quite different. I'm very grateful that it isn't a full biography.
I think it's nuts that this film did not get a nomination for best actor.
Heart rating: 5 stars
Brain rating: 4.5 stars (that dang Oprah Winfrey)