Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Her first lead

Now this is very very risky casting news.
Before you all hate on me, I love the woman to bits and wish her the huge career.
Although she won an Oscar, it was more for her voice than her acting chops, and she has proved on more than one occasion that she can sing.
Various films since have done nothing to say she is an actor of note (but in fairness the films did not really offer her a lot to do), however Jennifer Hudson has managed to score a huge role.

This is one of those risks that will either pay off amazingly, or be nothing note worthy.

She will play Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 'Winnie' in a film that is bound to be as controversial as she is:
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was the wife of Nelson Mandela, who she married in 1957 and had daughters with. From a relatively privileged background, she trained and worked as a social worked and, on Mandela's imprisonment in 1963, became an outspoken opponent of apartheid who did a huge amount to keep her husband's name alive both nationally and internationally.

In later years, however, she became a figure of controversy, following a speech that appeared to advocate violence and her involvement in the kidnapping and murder of a 14 year-old police informant. She and Mandela were separated by the time he became Prime Minister of South Africa, and her career was further dogged by a conviction for theft and fraud. She has, however, since re-entered politics and done rather well.
This is an incredibly meaty role for Hudson. One I am not sure if she can deliver mainly because I have not seen her really be given a role that would be this much of a challenge. We are talking period film, accent, high drama, speeches. I am not convinced she has it in her, solely based on what he have seen from her.

However, given her fairly recent tragedy, a flood of emotion and conviction could have been opened and we could see a true remarkable actress emerge. South African director Darrel J. Roodt (who is best know for 'Sarafina!' and 'Cry, the Beloved Country' will add extra authenticity to the proceedings, but in the end it will all ride on Hudson, as this will be her very first lead. Let me file this in "Will have to wait and see".

3 comments:

Jose said...

I love J.Hud and feel bad that she'll forever have to live up to that Oscar and that awful tragedy that happened to her family.
I'm sure she'll be splendid in this.

Jose said...

I love J.Hud and feel bad that she'll forever have to live up to that Oscar and that awful tragedy that happened to her family.
I'm sure she'll be splendid in this.

Afrika said...

I am personally disappointed with this casting choice because I am not a fan of J. Hudson's "acting". I feel like the most untalented black actors are always the ones who end up getting recognition while the most talented like Angela Bassett sit on the sideline and watch the spectacle. Oh well, I hope she does well though. Winnie is a very powerful figure not only to South Africans but to an overwhelming majority of Africans. It would be a real shame if she didn't do this part any justice. I must confess that as an African who grew up listening to stories about Winnie Mandela, I am very disappointed about the casting choice :-(