28 November 2013 4:05 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Half Nelson: Chadwick’s Biopic Stretched Thin

An attempt to cover fifty years in the life of South African President Nelson Mandela in the time span of two and a half hours seems as exhausting to sit through as it was daunting to piece together, even if it is based on Mandela’s own autobiography. To their credit, Justin Chadwick and screenwriter William Nicholson have made a well-paced film, albeit one that gives us a rudimentary glance at Mandela’s development, doggedly comprehensive without taking any opportunities for depth or subtlety. Its rather conservative depiction of apartheid further places the film into a textbook category and seems an appropriate and elementary learning tool for those ignorant of the subject matter. Despite adhering to the trappings of generalization as seen in many genuinely produced biopics that would have been better served by sticking to one particular moment or period, Chadwick »

- Nicholas Bell

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