Sahifa fully responsive WordPress News, Magazine, Newspaper, and blog ThemeForest one of the most versatile website themes in the world.

Miscast and misbegotten, this catastrophic biopic plays like a sketch-comedy version of a bad movie about a legendary performer

“Nina,” an infuriatingly amateurish picture about the great singer and pianist Nina Simone, is a new low for the musical biopic genre. First time writer-director Cynthia Mort, whose main experience is as a writer on the sitcoms “Roseanne” and “Will & Grace,” unforgivably exploits Simone’s memory and name with a movie that plays like a sketch comedy parody of the worst possible Nina Simone biopic. No one involved seems to have a clue who Simone was or what she stood for.

Mort has said that she could not get financing for “Nina” when she submitted the names of her preferred African-American actresses for the role of Simone. But then she was offered money if she would cast Zoe Saldana, who was thought to be a bankable enough name, and there was an outcry when it was reported that Saldana would be darkening her skin with make-up to play Simone, a development that pushed an already strained situation into the realm of the offensive and the grotesque.

Most of “Nina” is set in the 1990s, when Simone was in her sixties and her career was in eclipse due to her temperamental behavior, and so on top of everything else Saldana, who is in her thirties, looks much too young to be convincing as a diva in winter. Saldana does all of her own singing, and she uses no Simone-like vibrato but sometimes pushes her voice lower to try to sound like her.

She fails miserably on every single song, slaughtering most of the best numbers in Simone’s catalogue and even hitting off-key notes here and there. Saldana stares off into the distance when she sings and frowns and glowers in a clownish manner, trying to appear Serious and Significant in a way that just makes her look absurd.

Saldana gives a truly terrible performance in “Nina,” especially in the scenes where she is pitching fits and throwing champagne bottles at people, which play as if she were doing some “Mad TV” sketch about a crazy star in a turban. David Oyelowo, who plays Simone’s gay handler Clifton Henderson, also gives a bad performance where he does nearly nothing and just looks very depressed to be in this inane movie.

“Nina” begins with a brief scene where we see the young Simone insisting on having her parents up front as she plays a piano recital, and it does include a few brief and arbitrary glimpses of her 1960s prime, but most of the scatterbrained narrative revolves around her 1990s decline and interactions with Henderson. We see Simone take a random phone call from Richard Pryor (Mike Epps), and then a brief flashback to them playing a gig together, but this tells us nothing we need to know about either Simone or Pryor.

Scattered throughout are brief scenes from an interview Simone does with a French journalist, and these are notable only because Saldana suddenly decides to do some kind of accent in these interview segments. The really distressing thing about “Nina,” which features a light comedy-type musical score, is its cheerful, bouncy tone, as if a laugh track is indicated every time Simone loses her temper again. “Nina” tries to make Simone into a joke, but the only joke here is the movie itself.

Surely a decent budget could have been found to do a proper film about Simone for cable with an appropriate lead actress like Viola Davis, Angela Bassett, Alfre Woodard, or any number of other lavishly gifted African-American actresses who could have lip-synched to Simone’s own rippling voice and made us understand what made her so angry.

Until that movie comes along, “Nina” is an affront that should be shunned. If you are unfortunate enough to see “Nina,” you will need to spend a lot of time afterward listening to the real Simone on records and YouTube and anywhere else you can find a place where her intensely moving voice still lives. That voice will never be forgotten by anyone who cares about first-class musicianship.

April 19, 2016

‘Nina’ Review: Zoe Saldana, What Happened to Your Miss Simone Biopic?

Miscast and misbegotten, this catastrophic biopic plays like a sketch-comedy version of a bad movie about a legendary performer “Nina,” an infuriatingly amateurish picture about the […]
April 19, 2016

Best and Worst Switch-Up Dances from ?DWTS? Season 22

Here are my rankings for the best and worst dances from the fifth week of Dancing with the Stars season 22, the Switch-Up Challenge. Also, check […]
April 19, 2016

Watch “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Season 5 Episode 3

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Season 5 Episode 3 aired on VH1 Monday night (Apr 18). Tammy’s luncheon with D. Smith and Betty Idol turns left. Stevie J […]
April 19, 2016

‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Couple Michelle Money and Cody Sattler Head to ‘Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars’

It looks like Michelle Money and Cody Sattler are back together and are trying to work out their issues on the new season of Marriage Boot […]
April 19, 2016

‘The Voice’ Predictions: Who Will Make the Top 11?

If nothing else, the votes that resulted in the Top 12 on The Voice proved that season 10 will have a lot of surprises in store. It’s […]
April 19, 2016

‘RHONYC’ Star Sonja Morgan on Costar Ramona Singer: ‘She’s Unfiltered’

Real Housewives of New York City star Sonja Morgan basically called Ramona Singer a blabbermouth but it’s only because she’s so used her costar’s tactless comments.
April 19, 2016

Casting Bits: ‘NCIS’ Adds Reiko Aylesworth, ‘Firefly’ Alum Jewel Staite Heads to ‘Castle’ and More

Besides season finales, there are other things to look forward to in May, including exciting guest stars and much awaited reunions. Read on to find out […]
April 19, 2016

‘The Voice’ Season 10: Top 12 Performance Rankings

These final handful of rounds on The Voice give the artists the opportunity to rise above the rest by pushing themselves further than they’ve ever been […]
April 19, 2016

Joss Whedon Reflects on Avengers 2 Clashes with Marvel

After the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Joss Whedon detailed some of the clashes he had with Marvel Studios over the film’s production. He was […]
April 19, 2016

Hillary Clinton Goes To NYC Deli With Stephen Colbert & He Stiffs Her With The Check

Courtesy of Comedy Central Hillary Clinton had one last important stop to make before the big Apr. 19 New York Democratic primary, and that was to […]
April 19, 2016

What Supergirl’s Season Finale Ending May Be Introducing

Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Season 1 finale of Supergirl. The last episode of Supergirl Season 1 was as close to a bright and sunny […]
April 19, 2016

X-Men: Apocalypse Viral Video & Quicksilver Commercial

In preparation for the upcoming final chapter to the X-Men: First Class Trilogy, 20th Century Fox is paving the way for X-Men: Apocalypse. The mutant mash-up […]
April 19, 2016

Rey In Star Wars: Episode 8 – Everything We Know

Of all the characters that we met In Star Wars: The Force Awakens there is nobody more interesting than Rey. Even she is in the dark […]
April 19, 2016

Rob Kardashian & Blac Chyna: He Reveals If Their Wedding Will Be Televised — Watch

We all know Rob Kardashian can’t wait to marry Blac Chyna, but the big question remains is will he follow in the footsteps of his famous […]
April 19, 2016

Marvel’s Iron Fist: Set Photos Show Finn Jones as Danny Rand

Production on Marvel’s Iron Fist is finally under way, and this past week brought even more excitement to the table with more additions to the cast. Finn Jones […]
April 19, 2016

Marvel Studios Countdown: What If The ‘Civil War’ Teams Were Swapped?

There’s an old Marvel comic series called What If that allows for stories of speculative Marvel fiction – “What if Punisher became Venom?” and that sort […]
April 19, 2016

‘American Horror Story’ Star Kathy Bates Says Fox Show ‘Rejuvenated’ Her Life

The Eye SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE LATEST NEWS FROM FASHION&STYLE (Photo : Getty Images/Emma McIntyre) Kathy Bates shares her thoughts about being part of “American […]
April 19, 2016

The Dark Tower Added Jackie Earle Haley In A Role You Might Not Remember

One of the hottest tickets in Hollywood right now is Nikolej Arcel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s legendary fantasy series The Dark Tower. With production recently getting […]
April 19, 2016

The Last Laugh Review [Tribeca 2016]

Review of: The Last Laugh Review movies: Lauren Humphries-Brooks Reviewed by: Lauren Humphries-Brooks Rating: 3.5 On April 18, 2016 Last modified:April 18, 2016 Summary: An entertaining […]
April 19, 2016

The Longest Movie Ever Gets 7-Hour Trailer

Everyone who thought that Batman V Superman was too long, hold on to your hats. There’s a movie coming out in a few years that will […]
April 19, 2016

Chris Brown Got Rihanna’s ‘Blessing’ To Discuss Assault In New Documentary

When Chris Brown revealed he is coming out with a documentary discussing the tragic night he assaulted his then girlfriend Rihanna, we couldn’t help but wonder how […]
April 19, 2016

‘Elvis & Nixon’ Tribeca Review: Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey Meet in Dis-Graceland

This one-joke biopic about the King and the president’s historic meeting is stretched far beyond its flimsy premise Watch the trailer for “Elvis & Nixon.” Go […]
April 19, 2016

‘Elvis & Nixon’: Tribeca Review

Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey star in this satirical comedy about the meeting between the two icons in the Oval Office. read more
April 19, 2016

Will Gotham Bring Jerome Back As The Joker Soon?

Spoilers for Gotham are below. When Gotham first began, one of the most unrealistic aspects of it was Penguin wearing his hair like that on purpose. […]
April 19, 2016

Wonder Woman Movie: What We Know So Far

Every time we talk about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel follow-up here on CinemaBlend, we refer to it by its official name, Batman v Superman: Dawn […]
April 19, 2016

Jared Fogle’s Perverted Text Messages Revealed: ‘I’ll Pay For 14 Year Old Girl’

Ewww! Creepy ew text messages have been released that show former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle was willing to pay big bucks to have sex with girls under […]
April 19, 2016

Game of Thrones: George R.R. Martin Thinks There’s Spinoff Potential

Game of Thrones season 6 is just around the corner, and as the cast and creators wrap up the press tour leading up to the season premiere, secrets […]
April 19, 2016

‘Teen Mom 2’ Recap: Leah & Jeremy Consider Getting Back Together

Image Courtesy of MTV Did Leah and Jeremy throw in the towel too soon? On the April 18 episode of ‘Teen Mom 2,’ the exes asked […]
April 19, 2016

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have helicopter scare in Iceland

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian had a brief scare in the air after the helicopter they were travelling in had to make an emergency landing in […]
April 19, 2016

Everybody Loves Raymond Star Doris Roberts Passes Away at 90

Doris Roberts had an acting career that began in 1951 and was active for seven different decades. She worked in film, in television and on stage, accumulating more […]
April 19, 2016

Simon Pegg Says ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Does Not Conclude a Trilogy

Movie trilogies used to mean something. A few of them still do. There’s the Back to the Future trilogy, the much more recent Dark Knight trilogy […]
April 19, 2016

Netflix’s Rough Day: Stock Hit Hard As Amazon Throws Down

A one-two punch for Netflix – from Amazon and declining subscriber projections The aura around Netflix, long the darling of Wall Street and binge-loving consumers, may […]
April 19, 2016

Donald Trump Refers to 9/11 as 7-Eleven During Speech in New York — Watch the Cringeworthy Moment

Yikes. Donald Trump just mixed up 9/11 with 7-Eleven, aka the chain of convenience stores responsible for Slurpees and Big Gulps. The GOP frontrunner was giving […]
April 19, 2016

Iggy Azalea Tweets She Hasn’t Broken Up With Nick Young After Ditching Engagement Ring: ‘We Are Together’

Iggy Azalea and Nick Young attend the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. Credit: Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage Working on it. Iggy Azalea tweeted on Monday, April 18, that […]
April 19, 2016

A Utah Theater Is In Big Trouble For Showing Deadpool, Here’s Why

Deadpool crashed into theaters this February, defying the laws of gravity, comic book movies, and moral decency. Strangely enough, that last claim became a reality recently […]
Prev page
Next page