Thursday, May 12, 2016

Nina- review



Hello Blogger world.....
I caught this film one afternoon at the local AMC. I was joined by 3 males in the audience and that was it. I actually didn't even know the film was playing until I saw it on the board while purchasing my 'Miles Ahead' ticket, because it didn't show up when I googled showtimes.  Anyway, so there's the scene now let me talk about the film.... 'Nina' is a biopic that concentrates on Nina Simone's later years in Paris, as she prepares to make a comeback with the help of her nurse turned manager.
There was a bug fuss made about the casting of Zoe Saldana in the lead role with most of the concerns being that they dressed Saldana up with exaggerated features to make her look more like Nina. Watching the film and witnessing the many close-ups that seem to say hey look at the make-up and hair job we did here makes me cringe because it's like they felt we couldn't believe she was Nina unless she looked like her.  In other biopics, like say 'Get on Up' and 'Miles Ahead' a lot less work is done to make the actors look the part throughout the film and the actors do the work.
         I'm not a huge Z. Saldana fan but she didn't do a bad job at all. The unfortunate piece is they masked her acting with wigs and darker powder. It is also unfortunate that they didn't cast someone who may or may not have made more people go see it. It's also unfortunate that they did not use Nina Simone's voice in scenes where some of her most memorable songs are performed. This is probably what I disliked the most and where they lost me. It's bad enough they made her look like a lunatic (which many people say she was) but then to give me these subpar musical covers and heavy costuming just made it feel like a bad play.  One last remark, this one is about 'David Oyelowo' I see some raw unpolished talent there that hasn't found it's niche yet and in that sense the roles he has played to date just aren't making him shine.

I'm not sure if I reviewed the Nina documentary (What Happened, Miss Simone?) but I watched that one as well. I feel both films did little to highlight her in a positive light although her musical genius was evident (more so in the documentary) but so much focus is given to her downfalls that you can easily lose track of how good the music was.  Let us not do this....If you're at all interested I suggest renting it but you aren't missing much.

Done. One Star...





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