Just saw Selma, and it is a splendid and harrowing film. The Academy should be ashamed.
I think one issue is that it is such a fine mix of action and ideas. It is closer to a certain type of European movie that values the drama of intellectual, moral, and ethical dilemmas and decisions. Of the struggle of competing points of view/world views, of the dissonance of expedience in conflict with life and death decisions. And yet there is never a dull moment. And it includes a grown-up love story. And excellent acting throughout.
It’s an intelligent film. And let’s face it, the last thing a white American audience wants to see is a really strong film, made by a black woman, about a bunch of intellectually astute black people consciously making history.
I’d say much of the bizarre pushback against this film is because the story of this historic American confrontation is told in a way that does not conform to bland American norms of cinematic entertainment.