Due respect for the enthusiasm and elation that followed an 11.17 New York screening of Ava DuVernay‘s Selma, but a potential Best Picture Oscar winner has to be about more than the ideals and convictions and historical events that may be recreated on a screen, and it certainly has to be about more than the pride and delight that an audience feels upon recognizing the transformative goodness and nobility of these events. The movie itself has to sing. It has to make its own magic. It has to be its own magic. The acclaim for any film has to be about that film. The cultural significance or the emotional baggage or the grand triumph of the events portrayed, however stirringly, are not enough. If Selma ends up winning, fine. I’ll understand; everyone will. But other qualities in other films should be weighed and given their just due. To be fair, I mean.