When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, Ruby drops out of medical school in order to focus on her husband's well-being while he's incarcerated - leading her on a journey of self-discovery in the process.
At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.
A disappointing attempt to capture a significant episode of world history
I viewed this at the Toronto International Film Festival where it premiered without a final soundtrack and with the end credits missing. But that's not what's important. Sadly, Winnie bites off more than it can chew due to weak, amateurish writing and clichéd action scenes, choppy story-telling and most of all, the casting of Jennifer Hudson, who is embarrassingly over her head as the love of Mandela's life. The larger historical,political and cultural context of this epic tale is missing, and although the basic 'facts' are there, it comes across as lifeless, wooden, artificial and often cloyingly sentimental. There are some bad choices in the story-telling in the interest of Hollywoodizing the saga for audiences who may not be knowledgeable about South African history or realities. Terrence Howard tries hard against the challenges of a lousy script and heavy-handed direction, and ages brilliantly as Mandela. He can't, single-handedly, save the film, so at the moment, the entire project feels as if it's headed straight to DVD.
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