Nina (2016) Review


Nina Simone is a legend within the jazz world, being a celebrated jazz musician and classical pianist. This film looks at her rise to fame and mainly her relationship with manager Clifton Henderson.


I throughly enjoy biography films that are based on a musicians life, they always seem to be interesting and let you know things around some of the amazing songs they might have written and then performed. I had never actually heard of this one about Nina Simone, until I spotted it on Sky Cinema. After having a closer look into the film it didn’t get a cinema release in the UK by the seems of it. Having now watched it I guess I can understand why I had never heard of it. It was made in 2012, but only got released in 2016.

That is never a good sign and I have to say the casting was very strange. Zoe Salander was never a good choice for Nina, he singing was not a good attempt towards Simone’s incredible vocals. Not that I was expecting her to be anywhere near but it made the film seem lacklustre. I am guessing it was supposed to be somewhat of a celebration of her life, it didn’t really feel that way at times. It felt as though they were making her out to be a bad person. They didn’t focus enough on the impact she actually made with her music.

Such a shame really as surely a film about Nina Simone would actually make an amazing story and be brilliant to watch. This is not that film at all, not even a little bit. I guess at times like this when I watch a film that is on the poor side like this one I should read more about them beforehand! The casting just seemed so wrong Salander very poor and the usually fantastic David Oyelowo wasn’t given much to work with at all. I guess it seems this film should have just stayed unreleased!


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