The first trailer for the Nina Simone biopic “Nina” was released today. The trailer offers the first glimpse of Zoe Saldana as the famous jazz singer.
The film mostly focuses on Simone later on in her career, as well as her relationship with her nurse-turned-manager Clifton Henderson (“Selma” star David Oyelowo). “Nina” is the directorial debut of Cynthia Mort.
The official synopsis of the film, which was put on hold for the last two years, was also released recently. It is as follows:
She was one of the century’s most extraordinary talents, a 15-time Grammy nominee and Grammy Hall of Fame Recipient; her mesmerizing songs and passionate politics combined to make her the unforgettable Nina Simone (Zoe Saldana). But fame and fortune came with a price, and her later years were riddled with depression, alcohol abuse and isolation. Rediscovering the meaning of her life and work took courage, strength and one true friend: Clifton Henderson (David Oyelowo), the man who started out as her assistant and eventually became her loyal manager. With Clifton’s encouragement, the “high priestess of soul” began a courageous journey back to her music … and, eventually, herself.
The film has been plagued with issues from the beginning, when Saldana replaced Mary J. Blige. Critics of the casting choice found issue with Saldana’s lighter skin tone. To make her appear more like Simone, a prosthetic nose was applied as well as makeup to darken her skin.
In addition, Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly (executive producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?”) reportedly also found issue with the tone of the script.
The film is set to open in theaters on April 22nd. The trailer can be viewed below.
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