After its opening on Friday 3 January to 500 screens in the UK and Ireland, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has been applauded by British critics and is expected to gain exponential success at the UK box office.
Critics applauded the film’s integrity and the outstanding performances from its lead actors. The Daily Telegraph said of the film: “achieved grandeur… comprehensive and convincing’; the Daily Mail wrote “Idris Elba and Naomie Harris dazzle as Nelson and Winnie’ while The Guardian stated the film was “powerfully portrayed… respectful without shying from the uglier truths’ and The Express said it was “handsomely made, absorbing and thought-provoking… tackles a huge subject with verve, pace and passion’.
A strong positive response to screenings has set predictions for the film to be placed in the top 10 performers at the box office and for earnings to gross over £1.5 million (R26 million) in the first three days of release.
Anant Singh, South African producer of the film, said: “This is indeed a formidable opening. The UK audience is a diverse one and the strong box office performance shows the wide appeal of the film, especially as it opened bigger than Ali, Munch and The Last King of Scotland.’
On Sunday 12 January at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom contends for three awards at the highly anticipated Golden Globes. Idris Elba is nominated for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role as Nelson Mandela, Alex Heffes is in the run for Best Original Score; and U2 is nominated for the Best Original Song, Ordinary Love, which was written especially for the film.