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This didn't go well

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One of the most complex, noteworthy women of the Twentieth Century gets a biopic unfitting of a made-for-TV movie in the disastrous Winnie. Purporting to examine the life and times of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Jennifer Hudson), the scattered film instead flits from scene to scene with little purpose. Winnie grows up a tomboy in a small village, becomes a shy scholar in Johannesburg, and transforms into a major advocate of the anti-apartheid movement with her marriage to Nelson Mandela (a satisfactory Terrence Howard). But Winnie is more interested in hero-worshipping love story nonsense than actually examining Madikizela-Mandela's complicated life. Conflicts and accusations of violence in her later years are breezily skipped past, since the clear villains are the apartheid-loving evil stock characters. Almost worth watching for Elias Koteas as a raving Colonel who partakes in the most hyper-dramatic cake eating scene in history.


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Vol 24, No 34
January 19, 2017

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