Despite a solid performance at the South African box office, Long Walk To Freedom has faltered overseas after a strong opening weekend – and now, the Mandela biopic more than 20 years in the making has also been snubbed at the Oscars
Despite a solid performance at the South African box office, Long Walk To Freedom has faltered overseas after a strong opening weekend – and now, the Mandela biopic more than 20 years in the making has also been snubbed at the Oscars.
Long Walk To Freedom is an epic, ethically grounded film tableau with a universal message: exactly the type of film that has swept the Oscars in the past. Yet, despite concerted critical praise for the performances of Idris Elba (as Nelson Mandela) and a stellar Naomie Harris (as a complex and compelling Winnie Mandela), the film is struggling in American theatres and the number of screens showing it has fallen under the onslaught of a remarkably strong Christmas crop of blockbusters.
The Mandela biopic, some in the industry say, may even have suffered from the timing of the great man’s passing away. Viewers exposed to hours of Mandela factoids and wall-to-wall news coverage of Prisoner 46664’s life and legacy may well have felt sufficiently up-to-date on South African history to skip the film.
As it is, South Africa – where the film still played to standing ovations weeks after its first opening in the country – will have to be satisfied that, at long last, a South African story (perhaps the South African story) was told patiently and well, even if commercial considerations flattened much of the political nuance present in the original script. That, and a Golden Globe for Best Song for the inevitable Bono’s Ordinary Love.
Some of this year’s Oscar nominations, announced yesterday:
Best Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine, Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle, Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave, Julia Roberts for August: Osage County and June Squibb for Nebraska.
Best Actress: Amy Adams for American Hustle, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock for Gravity, Judi Dench for Philomena and Meryl Streep for August: Osage County.
Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips, Bradley Cooper for American Hustle, Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave, Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club.
Best Actor: Christian Bale for American Hustle, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club.
Best Director: American Hustle by David O. Russell, Gravity by Alfonso CuarÃ³n, Nebraska by Alexander Payne, 12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen and The Wolf of Wall Street by Martin Scorsese.
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