(Photo : Weinstein Company )
This weekend "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" premiered at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival.
Starring Idris Elba ("Pacific Rim") and Naomi Harris ("Skyfall"), the movie recounts Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.
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The movie was hailed for Elba's strong performance but was met with a mixed reaction. Scott Foundas of Variety wrote, "Idris Elba gives a towering performance in this otherwise stolid CliffsNotes account of Nelson Mandela's life."
David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter stated "The restrained intensity of Idris Elba's performance as Nelson Mandela ennobles this ambitiously sprawling biopic."
Henry Barnes of the Guardian gave the movie two stars out of five and wrote, "Idris Elba delivers a respectful take on the South African icon in Justin Chadwick's authorised biopic, but the film itself sags beneath the weight of responsibility."
Kaleem Aftab of The Independent agreed and also gave the movie two stars. The critic stated, "'Long Walk to Freedom' is too much of a rush through such a rich life."
Screen International's Tim Grierson was also reserved about the film and wrote, "This nearly two-and-a-half-hour biopic is largely too tasteful and conventional to offer much insight into the remarkable man it wishes to celebrate."
The Weinstein Company had high hopes the movie would be a big Oscar contender. However, after reviews, it seems the awards gurus will put their efforts behind another movie.
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" was directed by Justin Chadwick ("The Other Boylen Girl") and is set to hit theaters on Nov. 29. The movie is rated PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content and brief strong language.