Biography / Drama / Music

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 3%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 26%
IMDb Rating 5.2 10 1999


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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September 21, 2016 at 01:58 AM



Zoe Saldana as Nina Simone
Michael Vartan as Radio Interviewer
Keith David as Clifton's Father
David Oyelowo as Clifton Henderson
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
660.49 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 2 / 10
1.37 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 2 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Michael Ledo 6 / 10

Refuge in a bottle

This is a biography of Nina Simone, alcoholic, drug user and occasional singer by this biopic. The film opens in 1946 at age 13 she gives a recital. Her name was not Nina (Zoe Saldana) at that time. She had changed it so her family would not be embarrassed by her profession. The film picks up later after she tries to shoot a man in 1985, not 1995 as the film wrongly states. It moves forward with her struggle with alcohol and relationship with Clifton (David Oyelowo) with minor flashbacks.

The acting was great, unfortunately the editing and script left much to be desired. It concentrated too much on her demons and little to nothing on her music. One would argue that was in intent, but they missed an opportunity to make a truly entertaining film.

Guide: F-word. Implied sex. Minor rear nudity.

Reviewed by Nozz 7 / 10

The problem is, she seems to be tortured but not struggling

First of all, I don't go to see movies for the makeup. I don't care about that controversy. The accent was a bit of a problem; sometimes I wasn't sure whether I was supposed to be hearing Nina Simone or Eartha Kitt. The singing, I'd say, was handled well, given the choice not to use Nina Simone's voice (and that choice can be argued with). The first song dispelled any expectation that we were going to get a Nina Simone imitation, and so when later songs recalled her more strongly, what caught our attention was the positive side of the salute rather than the mismatch.

The big problem was the story. Nina in the movie has two problems. She's suffering as a black woman, and she isn't mentally stable. We get a hint at the very beginning that maybe discrimination is what undermined her sanity (although in reality the Curtis Institute still denies it rejected her on racial grounds, and the fact is the Institute was not closed to black women). But despite reminders of the political situation, she seems to embrace her neuroses rather than struggle against them, so an opportunity for drama is lost. She's a law unto herself, either she takes her medication or she doesn't, and there isn't a lot of cause-and-effect for the audience to cling to.

We do see a bit of cause-and-effect when Dr. King is assassinated and she appears to respond by writing "Why? (The King of Love Is Dead." Unfortunately, Nina Simone in reality didn't write that song.

At what sounds like a crucial moment, her career has bottomed out and someone says "She has to deliver truth again. If she does, she can do whatever she wants." But the remark raises your eyebrows because we hadn't seen a stage at which she delivers something other than truth. And when she agrees to start living clean, on her way to a comeback, it seems like a whim triggered by nothing in particular.

If I could go back in time with the scriptwriter, I'd tell her to rebuild the story around that "She has to deliver truth again" crisis and to give it a clearer before-and-after with more sense of a changed attitude. But maybe that would be an even less accurate movie.

Reviewed by BONNIE KOHL 9 / 10

If you love/loved Nina, you will want to see this movie.

Contrary to the last review, this movie was terrific! It showed Miss Simone's difficulties in life without excusing them, moving back and forth to explain why she was behaving a certain way. It showed the history of how she got to those feelings and actions. And then it showed her glory, which was her music. Miss Saldana was incredibly brave to take on the music of an icon. And, she did quite well. Her emotions while singing and the way she used her voice were wonderful. Anyone knowing this music would understand why she performed this way. Taking on the life of a legend is very difficult, but this crew did a great job. Kudos to all!

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