Sneak Peek: 'Winnie,' Starring Jennifer Hudson & Terrance Howard

Winnie, Starring Jennifer Hudson & Terrance Howard...

After nearly two years of delays, questionable casting choices, and a new distributor (megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes), Winnie, the biopic of Winnie Mandela, is gearing up to hit theaters this fall.

The film stars Jennifer Hudson in the title role and casts her alongside Terrance Howard, who stars as Winnie’s husband, Nelson Mandela. Many, including Winnie Mandela herself, were trouble by the casting choices, and if this trailer is any indication, I can see why.

The film originally debuted at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival, but after it received less than stellar reviews, the film’s producers took it off the festival circuit to undergo some changes.

 David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter stated, "Solid performances are undercut by lack of storytelling integrity in this plodding biopic," and Ed Gibbs of The Guardian (UK) said, "This syrupy biography of the former wife of Nelson Mandela seeks to sugar-coat South Africa's complex history."

In April 2012, it was announced that T.D. Jakes and his company TDJ Enterprises/Film Bridge International had taken over the production, distribution and marketing of the film. It was released to a limited number of theatres in Canada on October 5, 2012, and was again met with poor reviews.

As of October 17, 2012, it holds a 0 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from six critics. Rick Groen of Globe and Mail says, "Winnie begins as hagiography and ends in hellish confusion," and Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star said, "It won't satisfy history students curious about this polarizing figure, nor fans of its star, Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson."


Winnie Mandela criticized the fact that she was not consulted for the making of a film about her life, stating, "I have absolutely nothing against Jennifer [Hudson, the film's star], but I have everything against the movie itself. I was not consulted. I am still alive, and I think that it is a total disrespect to come to South Africa, make a movie about my struggle, and call that movie some translation of a romantic life of Winnie Mandela."

Some South African actors also criticized the selection of American actors for South African roles; Oupa Lebogo, general secretary of the Creative Worker's Union (CWU) said of Hudson's casting

Check out the five-minute trailer

Winnie should hits theaters this fall


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