Director: Ava DuVernay
Writer: Paul Webb
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth
The 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery was a turning point in the fight for equal voting rights. This film examines the event from historical and personal perspectives. David Oyelowo remarkably inhabits the role of Martin Luther King, Jr., as he leads the campaign, while facing his own doubts and demons. The performances are universally compelling and director Ava DuVernay has masterfully crafted an authoritative work of cinema. Bradford Young’s beautiful, intimate cinematography adds to the film’s artistic appeal. Almost every encounter and speech could have been shorter, which would have helped build more dramatic tension, but this remains an important, ambitious historical drama.
GAY ANGLE: Influential civil rights organizer and out gay man Bayard Rustin is depicted and mentioned by name twice, but there wasn’t time to address his sexuality.
Director: Michael Mann
Writer: Morgan Davis Foehl
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang
The subject matter (international cybercrime) and director Michael Mann (often stylistically innovative) promised a cool look at this timely subject. Unfortunately, it quickly turns into a typical Bourne-type actioner with a few keystrokes thrown in. Chris Hemsworth plays a jailed hacker, whose brought out of jail and onto the case to track down the criminal who’s already caused a nuclear disaster. There’s a lackluster love interest that slows down what little momentum that exists. Nothing about the approach or the writing is original and the sluggish pace isn’t augmented by any of Mann’s visual style.
GAY ANGLE: Hemsworth has several teasing topless scenes, even when he’s dressed he never buttons the top 3 buttons.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.