Based on his autobiography, this film is clearly designed to be the definitive film about Nelson Mandela. And it tells his remarkable story with skill, tracing his life from 25 to 75 while touching on why he's perhaps the most important figure of the past century. So it's no wonder that the film feels far too constructed and polished.
It starts in his Xhosa village birthplace, then follows Nelson (Elba) to Johannesburg in the 1940s as a sparky young lawyer with a loving wife (Pheto) and children. But the vicious injustice of Apartheid gets under his skin, and as he starts speaking out and taking action, his marriage falls apart. South Africa's government responds to protests by cracking down even further, so Nelson's African National Congress turns to violence. As a result, its leaders are sentenced to hard labour on Robben Island. Now married to the outspoken Winnie (Harris) with two more daughters, Nelson is sent away for life. But he refuses to let bitterness gain a foothold, and devises a way for the nation to peacefully transition into democracy.
Mandela's legacy lies in his wisdom and open-mindedness, avoiding a bloodbath by seeking reconciliation rather than revenge. And these themes play an important role in Nicholson's script, which of course has to condense the events drastically, even for a two-and-a-half hour movie. But all of the key moments are here, and even if the film sometimes feels like it's racing through them, there's plenty of subtext for the actors to grab hold of.
Continue reading: Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Review
Anant Singh - AFI FEST 2013 Presented By Audi Premiere Of The Weinstein Company's "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" At the Egyptian Theatre - Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 11th November 2013
Kids and mom end up holed up in the car as the lions prowl outside, still hungry. To make matters worse, grating and bratty teenage sis (Carly Schroeder) hates the stepmom and blames her for everything when she isn't listening to her iPod. Gosh! Why can't the lions just leave her alone!? Finally they spot the keys outside, and mom makes a run for it. Five seconds later she's wrecked the car completely. Eventually natives wander by and help them. Meanwhile dad has hired a ranger to search for the missing car.
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Based on Dodie Smith's novel, I Capture the Castle gives us a 17-year-old named Cassandra (Romola Garai), who spends most of her time writing in her journal. There is plenty of material around her. At the height of his literary fame, her father (Bill Nighy) bought an isolated castle on the English countryside. Twelve years later, circa mid-1930s, he hasn't written anything more than a laundry list and looks like a fine candidate for a straitjacket. As his creativity crumbles, so does his family, while the castle remains dank, dark, and home to quite a few rats.
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Cry, the Beloved Country is James Earl Jones's magnum opus, a film in which he gets to really stretch his range as an actor, even though the film doesn't give him much room to do so. The movie is the story of aging Zulu priest Stephen Kumalo (Jones) and his search for his sister and son in 1946 Johannesburg. A stranger in a strange land, Kumalo soon finds his country ways unsuited for life in the bustling city, and he is victimized by thieves almost as soon as he arrives.
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And I just can't bring myself to care.
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