Will Ferguson Help SELMA’s Oscar Chances?

I admit it’s not the most urgent question raised by the travesty of justice that’s just occurred in Missouri. But the race for the Oscar — like the race for the White House — is affected by what’s going on in the country at the time of the election. And the anger over the Michael Brown situation could have some voters re-thinking their silly notion that “I voted last year for ’12 Years A Slave’ so I don’t need to vote for a movie — ‘Selma,’ about Martin Luther King, Jr., and the struggle for civil rights — about white-on-black oppression this year.” And if you think Ferguson anger will abate before Oscar nomination voting begins on December 27, I don’t agree. And the season begins in earnest early next week, when New York Film Critics reveal their picks and the National Board of Review — traditionally friendly to socially-conscious films like “Selma” — announces. A week from now, “Selma” could be looking like a more serious Oscar contender.

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