Anyone who was devoted to Tejano music superstar Selena while she was alive will cherish her resurrection in the movies. Those of us who were barely aware of her career until after she was murdered in 1995 won't be particularly enlightened or thrilled by Gregory Nava's rhythmic eulogy titled Selena.
The unfamiliar masses don't get much more from Nava's film than we surmised from the news reports after her murder: Selena must have been a popular music star with a winning personality, and she died far too tragically and young, at the hand of someone she trusted. Nava doesn't dig any deeper than that, to clue us about what was happening behind that megawatt smile. Probably the devotion of her family and fans kept his hands tied.
Selena [Quintanilla Perez] begins on an electrifying note, at a 1995 concert that broke the Houston Astrodome attendance record, not long before her death. Jennifer Lopez (Money Train, Blood and Wine) is a close physical match for the late singer and does a solid job of lip-synching to Selena's recordings. The music (a medley of 1970s disco diva tunes) and Nava's camera quickly sweep us into the dizzying rush of celebrity before the film settles into standard biography procedure.