Selena is an inspirational musical biography of a Mexican-American singer who at age 23 was shot to death by the president of her fan club. Writer and director Gregory Nava (El Norte, Mi Familia) centers the drama around Selena's calling into music which was nurtured by her family and strengthened by her God-given gifts of talent, charm, enthusiasm, and energy.
The key scene in the film is when nine-year-old Selena (Becky Lee Meza) sits on the roof of her house with her sister and imagines herself as a famous singing star. Early on, her father Abraham (Edward James Olmos) realizes that his daughter is a singer of singular ability. Although Abraham fears racial barriers might block her way to mainstream success, Selena (played with great verve by Jennifer Lopez) sings and dances her way through these obstacles with grace and grit. No wonder millions of fans saw her as a miracle worker-a Tex-Mex beauty who lifted their spirits with her music and with her accomplishments. Jon Seda turns in a fine performance as Chris Perez, a guitarist in Selena's band who marries her.
James Hillman in "The Soul's Code" delineates calling as "that essential mystery at the heart of each human life." Selena is a film that unspools the destiny of a singer who, despite her untimely death, fulfilled her calling in life.