On June 12, 1964, Nelson Mandela, along with a number of political detainees, was sentenced to life imprisonment in what remains the most sensational treason trial in the history of South ... See full summary »
A street-wise teen from Baltimore who has been raised by a single mother travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives, where he embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey.
Winnie Mandela (Jennifer Hudson) is the sixth daughter to a disappointed father hoping for a son. She tries to prove her worth chaffing at the paternalistic culture. Her father is the son of the chief and a ground breaking teacher. She studies to be a social worker and excels. She is fascinated by Nelson Mandela (Terrence Howard) and catches his eye. They are soon married but they are always hounded by the cruel De Vries (Elias Koteas). Mary Botha (Wendy Crewson) hires her despite the troubles and becomes her supporter.
This is such a bland uninteresting biopic. With such an amazing complicated subject, this has no intensity. It has no life. The story has been simplified into a paint-by-number biopic. It's as if it's boiled down to highlights of a compelling life. It uses way too many montages. Terrence Howard is especially hamstrung by the script while Jennifer Hudson takes a backward step with her performance. Elias Koteas is a great actor but the movie appears to suggest that all of Mandela's problems stem from an over-zealous persecutor. Winnie is one of the most compelling characters in our modern history and this treats it all like a melodrama. I'm left a little uncertain about Hudson's skills after this. However I put most of it down to a bad script.
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