Nelson Mandela

winnie jennifer hudson

Oh look, another biopic. If you’ve heard any buzz about a Nelson Mandela-centric movie this year, it was probably about Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the Idris Elba and Naomie Harris vehicle set to hit theaters this fall. But after getting negative buzz at TIFF all the way back in 2011 and finally securing a distributor this spring, it looks like Winnie Mandela will also see the light of day in September. Directed by Darrell J. Roodt (Sarafina; Cry, The Beloved Country), the biopic follows the story of the South African freedom fighter (Terrence Howard) from the perspective of his wife, Winnie (Jennifer Hudson), as she campaigns for his release from jail and in the fight against apartheid. And in the fashion of some, if not a lot of biopics, it seems like a safe bet for all involved. As soon as the trailer starts and you get sucker-punched by the emotional soundtrack, it’s clear that we’ve walked into a story about an Important Woman – but will it be enough to keep our attention? What will be interesting is seeing how the film handles the negative press and criticism Winnie garnered later in life, or if the film will even touch on the subject. Check out the trailer here:

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Mandela

There are a list of traits a movie can have that people who give out shiny little awards tend to love. So, naturally, there have come to be movies that try to embody as many of these traits as possible, in order to get the attention of the people who have the shiny little awards they want. The term is “Oscar bait,” and though falling into the category doesn’t necessarily mean that a movie is going to be bad (on the contrary, often they’re quite good), or that the people telling the story didn’t also want to do so for genuine reasons, you know it when you see it. Seeing as it’s a historical drama, it deals with issues of race, it covers the ups and downs of the life of an iconic figure who suffered immensely, and it seems to feature a showy lead performance from a well-respected actor (Idris Elba), director Justin Chadwick’s (The Other Boleyn Girl) upcoming Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is just about the biggest piece of Oscar bait that’s come down the pike in a long time. But seeing as Nelson Mandela’s life makes for such a captivating story, and Elba is such a strong actor, it looks like it’s also probably going to be a pretty dang good movie. Now that a full-length trailer has dropped, you should probably take the opportunity to give it a look and see what the film has to offer for yourself.

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Mandela Elba

There’s only one shot in the teaser trailer for Justin Chadwick‘s Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, but man is it a good one. The trailer sees Nelson Mandela, the Noble Peace Prize winner and former President of South Africa, trudging along a narrow path in a vast, rust-colored plain. The camera starts to swoop and soar, and soon children flock to Mandela, turning his lonely walk into a joyous one. Throughout all this, Idris Elba (who will be playing Mandela) does a little narration to flex his South African accent. As all those elements come together, this teaser trailer hits a well of real emotion-  especially so with Mandela still in the hospital and said to be in critical condition. Think a kind thought for him and check out the trailer below:

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In a recent interview with Collider, Idris Elba claimed that his schedule was so packed that he moved out of his home without signing a lease anywhere else. It’s all movie set trailers from here on out. He’s probably not exaggerating. He’ll be seen later this year in Prometheus and potentially the Western They Die By Dawn. Next year, he’ll be in the thriller No Good Deed and Pacific Rim. After that, it’s a turn as Nelson Mandela for director Justin Chadwick’s Long Walk to Freedom and what promises to be another Mandela-esque turn as Heimdall in Thor 2. This comes on the heels of Joss Whedon’s massive success with The Avengers and a public suggestion that the sequel will see more female superheroes.

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invictus_review1

As I reach into my grab bag of critical terminology to describe my reaction to Eastwood’s latest, I come up only with well-worn rhetoric that, nonetheless, fits perfectly to the experience one has walking out of this film: Invictus is disappointing, a major missed opportunity.

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kevin-reportcard-header

Kevin Carr sits his chubbiness down and sees if The Princess and the Frog, Invictus and The Lovely Bones can make the grade.

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InvictusHeader

Setting aside the fact that Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandella is a no-brainer for an Oscar grab, the poster is one of the best I’ve seen all year.

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Everyone prepare to rise from the wasteland that you call your life and step into the glorious Promised Land of Reject Radio. It’s the first episode, and like any first time, there’s a little pinch, a nervous excitement, and you have trouble walking afterward. Was it good for you?

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invictusmandela

The Clint Eastwood-directed Invictus will tell the story of Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid, and it’s gunning for Oscar territory.

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