Thursday, April 21, 2016

Nina Movie Review

Zoe Saldana stars in Nina

Feeling Bad

Rotten Tomatoes Plot: She was one of the century's most extraordinary talents. A 15-time Grammy nominee and Grammy Hall of Fame Recipient, her mesmerizing songs and passionate politics combined to make her the unforgettable Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana.) But fame and fortune came with a price, and her later years were riddled with depression, alcohol abuse and isolation. Rediscovering the meaning of her life and work took courage, strength and one true friend: Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo) the man who started out as her assistant and eventually became her loyal manager. With Clifton's encouragement, the "high priestess of soul" began a courageous journey back to her music... and, eventually, herself. Directed by Cynthia Mort.

Let's cut to the chase: Nina might be the worst biopic ever made. Controversies aside, I can't think of a single positive (save for its relatively short 90-minute runtime.) There's a perpetual lack of energy, entertainment and/or joy, that could drive a teetotaler to drink (a lot.) "Credit" this to an apparently clueless first-time director and a pair of surprisingly listless performances by otherwise skillful actors (Saldana and Oyelowo.) I "pity the fool," who's never seen or heard the real Simone... because she and her legacy deserve much better than this poorly executed (so-called) portrayal. Shame on everyone involved.

Grade: F