Yesterday Entertainment Weekly‘s Clark Collis filed an “exclusive” but clueless report about the 4.22 opening (theatrical, VOD) of Nina, an allegedly underwhelming Nina Simone biopic with the clearly miscast Zoe Saldana (as opposed to, say, the great Viola Davis) portraying the troubled singer.
The fact that director Cynthia Mort filed a lawsuit nearly two years ago against producer Ealing Studios Enterprises should tell you plenty. Here are some of the lawsuit details.
I don’t want to see Nina anyway. Self-destruction is boring, and I’ve already done time with Liz Garbus‘s Oscar-nominated What Happened, Miss Simone? — a respectable effort in this equation.
Here’s how Collis idiotically puts it: “How could we cheer up Nina Simone fans about the documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? losing to Amy at the Oscars last Sunday? Well, how about this: EW can exclusively reveal that Nina, a years-in-the-making biopic of the so-called ‘High Priestess of Soul’, will be released to theaters and on VOD, April 22. Directed by Cynthia Mort, the movie stars Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar actress Zoe Saldana as Simone and Selma actor David Oyelowo as her assistant-turned-manager, Clifton Henderson.”
Incisive! Collis is presumably wise to the facts but is following the EW format — keep things simple, dumb and exuberant.
Simone’s daughter Simone Kelly has been among those who felt that the casting of the Dominican-born Saldana was appalling. The trailer shows that Saldana, who was obviously hired to play Simone because of her Guardians/Avatar fame, darkened her skin and wore a fake Afro nose to resemble Simone.