5.4/10
2,578
38 user 16 critic

Nina (2016)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, Music | 22 April 2016 (USA)
Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
The story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson.

Director:

Cynthia Mort

Writer:

Cynthia Mort
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zoe Saldana ... Nina Simone
David Oyelowo ... Clifton Henderson
Kevin Mambo ... Gilles, Lead Guitarist
Ronald Guttman ... Henri Edwards
Chuma Gault ... Nina's Husband
Allison Sarofim ... Head Nurse
Mike Epps ... Richard Pryor
Keith David ... Clifton's Father
Ella Joyce ... Clifton's Mom
Stevens Gaston ... Clifton's Brother
Fred Cassidy ... Customs Agent
Jessica Oyelowo ... Nurse
Anthony Molinari ... Cop #1
Ella Thomas ... Lorraine Hansberry
Bonnie Bartlett ... Recital Stage Woman
Edit

Storyline

The story of the late jazz musician and classical pianist Nina Simone including her rise to fame and relationship with her manager Clifton Henderson.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Singer. Activist. Survivor. Legend.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Lisa Simone Kelly, Nina Simone's daughter, disavowed the project on grounds it was a dishonest look at her mother's life, particularly in the storyline involving a turbulent romantic relationship between Nina and Clifton Henderson (in real life, Henderson was gay and was Nina's confidant but never her lover). As a result, Simone's family was not consulted during the film's production. While the family said publicly they didn't have any personal issues with Saldana, they didn't agree with her casting because Nina Simone had much darker skin than Saldana and they felt the choice was an attempt to erase what Nina Simone herself called "essential blackness" from the movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in WatchMojo: Top 10 Controversial Casting Choices (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Wafer fin, badly chosen time period.
28 November 2016 | by Avwillfan89See all my reviews

After the big hoo-ha about how bad this film is, in particular because of Zoe Saldana's casting, I decided to give this movie a shot.

I know virtually nothing about Nina Simone's life, but this film does not want to portray what her life was during her prime. Instead it relies on itty bitty pieces of dialogue during interviews and conversations with Nina's old friend Richard Pryor. It is set during the last decade of her life, when she is mentally ill, unstably alcoholic and very difficult to tolerate. Clifton (David Oyelowo), the nurse at the mental hospital where she is interred, takes her in, looks after her and eventually becomes her manager.

The real problem with this movie is, glaringly, the time period of Nina's life. It's not a good one, and very little happens in the movie. We start her off as a little girl defying racial segregation so that her parents can sit in the front row. Nothing else is shown of her rise to fame and struggles, which makes the film feel very empty.

One thing I really didn't like is the erasure of Clifton's homosexuality. Although he and Nina are not seen intimate with each other (at one point she calls him the F word when he refuses to have sex with her) there is a small implication. Why couldn't they show everyone he was gay?

The last thing is of course Zoe Saldana as Nina. I personally feel the criticism (and it was extremely scornful) was very unfair. She did the best with what she was given, and she should be praised for it. The problem is not the color of her skin, its the age. She is supposed to be in her sixties, and yet Saldana is actually younger than David Oyelowo! They really couldn't find an older actress?

At times the movie was painfully boring, badly paced and perhaps unintentionally funny. 5 out 10.


27 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 38 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

22 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nina See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed