I went to a Selma screening on the Paramount lot last night. I wanted to see if it would expand or sink in a bit more. Honestly? It did somewhat. It went up on my approve-o-meter. Somewhat. A lady I was with gave it a 9. I had it at 7.5 after my first viewing but I bumped it up to an 8 last night. I still think it’s a little too talky or speechy (and scenes that aren’t about speeches are mostly about situational assessments and strategy sessions, mostly by MLK and his homies, secondarily by Tom Wilkinson‘s LBJ and Tim Roth‘s George Wallace), too self-regarding at times, generally too slow and too darkly lighted in too many indoor scenes. The lady friend said that for her, many of the talky scenes actually delivered serious emotion. Okay. I recognize again that I’m in the minority and that I should probably just shut up from here on. I respect Selma, I have no argument with Selma, I want Selma to do well, etc.

(l. to r.) Ava DuVernay, David Oyelowo, producer Dede Gardner during post-screening q & a.

Selma director Ava DuVernay, Monique Thompson following last night’s Selma screening at Sherry Lansing Theatre on Paramount lot.