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.

Did it help?

Check out the five-minute trailer to find out.

What do you think? Will you be watching Winnie when it hits theaters this fall?

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48 Comments

  1. Velma

    My father and I debated about this movie. I brought up the point that there should have been African Actors in the role, and he countered by saying, how do you know that Africans didn’t want Jennifer and Terrence to play the role? I will wait to see it on dvd.

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  2. Leepfrogger

    With regard to the accents of Terence Howard and Jennifer Hudson I think it needs to be borne in mind that the South African accent is one which has troubled foreign actors more than any other. There are a long list of notable names who have received bad press (local) following their atttempts to play South African roles: Morgan Freeman (Nelson Mandela), Matt Damon (Francois Pienaar), Danny Glover (Boesman and Lena), Nicole Kidman (The Interpreter), Daniel Craig (Munich) Ian McKenzie & Susan Saradon (A Dry White season), Denzil Washington (Cry Freedom) and many many more. The bottom line is that we (South Africans) will always be able to sniff out the foreigner when they open their mouths – no matter how good an actor/actress they might be. That being said, both Terence Howard and Jennifer Hudson have been highly commended for their portrayals of Nelson Mandela and Winnie respectively.

    My personal opinion is that much of the criticism comes from a deep-rooted sense of South African pride and ownership which finds it hard to accept that film makers have the audacity to cast Americans to play South African roles.

    It needs to be recognised that casting decisions are more often than not made on the basis that the artistic presence of big name stars would enable the director to produce a film at a budget that would enable it to be competitive within the world-wide film industry. Furthermore, it is often overlooked that, the involvement of names such as Terence Howard and Jennifer Hudson creates opportunities for South African and African artists and technicians to achieve world-wide recognition whilst working alongside people of their stature.

    Perhaps if we took off our typical South African blinkers and had the maturity to look past our ‘precious’ accent being “butchered” we might be pleasantly surprised by a very well made film with a very unexpected message

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