Cool, the Nina Simone Biopic That No One Wanted Is Hitting Theaters Soon
The moment we’ve been dreading for years has arrived: The Nina Simone biopic starring Zoe Saldana has arrived, and has a new trailer.
At first blush, it’s hard to understand why this would make anyone angry, but people have been upset about this movie from the jump. Simone’s family was not consulted about this movie, and, even more shockingly, the director cast a fair-skinned, traditionally beautiful actress and loaded her up with prosthetics and skin darkeners to convey Simone’s singular image. The result is more comical than it is respectful.
I feel like this film has taken the life of one of our most accomplished performers and turned it into an Oscar vehicle for an actress no one thinks is right for the part, including Simone’s own daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly. She was the executive producer of “What Happened, Miss Simone?”, the documentary that she felt was more reflective of who her mother really was.
“Let’s put it this way, I’m very happy that this movie made it across the finish line first,” said Simone Kelly, an actress and singer who has performed on Broadway in the title role of the Disney musical “Aida” and released three solo albums. Simone Kelly’s father, Andrew Stroud, was a New York police detective who later became Simone’s manager. “If a lie comes out in the movies, that goes down in history as that person’s journey.”
It’s also important to remember that what some view as the miscasting of Saldana is rooted in the fact that Simone suffered from racism for most of her life chiefly because of the way she looked.
“She has a reputation for being difficult, loud and violent, but why?” Simone Kelly said of her mother by phone from her home in France. “We all have a story. My mother suffered. We can go all the way back to when she was a child and people told her her nose was too big, her skin was too dark, her lips were too wide. It’s very important the world acknowledges my mother was a classical musician whose dreams were not realized because of racism.”
The movie will be released on April 22 in theaters and VOD. I’m not coming near this movie, but you do you.