Winnie Mandela's Strength Lies in Its Performances

Location Info


AMC Empire 25

234 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: West 40s

AMC Loews Village 7‎

66 3rd Ave.
New York, NY 10003

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: East Village

AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9

2309 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, NY 10027

Category: Movie Theaters

Region: Harlem


Winnie Mandela
Directed by Darrell Roodt
One Village Entertainment
Opens September 6, AMC Empire 25, Loews Village 7, and AMC Magic Johnson

Being a mother is a hard enough job, but being saddled with the title "Mother of the Nation" is an unimaginable pressure, a pressure that Jennifer Hudson must have felt to some small degree playing the title character in Winnie Mandela. When her husband, Nelson (Terrence Howard), is imprisoned for organizing anti-Apartheid protests, Winnie keeps up the struggle for freedom in his stead—but, forced to deal with the real world while Nelson is sidelined as a martyr for 27 years, she becomes increasingly radicalized. Compressing a half-century's worth of history, Winnie Mandela makes liberal use of biopic clichés, such as newspaper headlines screaming exposition like "World Leaders Condemn Winnie Mandela" (it's a wonder the papers don't spin as they approach the camera), or the constant presence of villainous policeman Colonel de Vries (Elias Koteas), whose life's work seems to consist of either watching Winnie from a distance in public or listening to her on wiretaps. A story that probably could have been told better as a miniseries, the film's main strength is its performances. Howard brings the necessary quiet dignity to Nelson, Koteas wisely underplays what could have been a mustache-twirling role, and most importantly, Hudson embodies a woman who grew up fighting boys with sticks, and never really stopped.


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