2013 November 26

'Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom' Gets That Oscar Buzz On In New York

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Bono, Lenny Kravitz Bono, Lenny Kravitz
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(NEW YORK) As the Oscar race is about to take off, one sure contender leading the charge will be the extraordinary Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, which had a special screening at The Ziegfeld Theatre last night. Based on the 1994 autobiography of the same name, the film chronicles the journey of Nelson Mandela. Think you know this man’s role in history? Think again. Brought to life on the screen beautifully by Idris Elba as Mandela and Naomie Harris as his wife Winnie Mandela, the story traces what led to him spending 27 horrific years in prison, how he endured, and the after effects of that experience that changed South Africa and our world forever.

U2, Anna Wintour, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and Elba and Harris hosted the screening that was supported by Burberry. Harvey Weinstein introduced the film before welcoming Mandela’s daughter, Zenali Mandela, who admitted: "I'm a little nervous because I didn't realize there was going to be so many people here!" She spoke about her father and gave praise to U2’s Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen, and Adam Clayton, given the group's long history of supporting Africa-related causes and a friendship with Mandela. Sharing the podium with him, she introduced a speechless and visibly touched Bono, who quipped: “Oh dear, I might not be Irish. I’m at a loss for words, and that doesn’t usually happen.“ U2 have contributed the final song in the film, "Ordinary Love", that comes on during the credits. "Getting the call to do this was sort of overwhelming and an honor," Bono explained. "This man, Zenali’s dad, when you put it like that, her dad, really turned our lives upside down or right side up. We have been working for him since we were teenagers with him telling us what to do. He’s a giant part of our life so we didn’t want to blow it.”

After the film, some of the most gorgeous faces we’ve seen in one room since, well, the last Cinema Society screening carried on a few blocks up to squeeze in to the freshly reopened (and relocated) Le Bilboquet where Lenny Kravitz, Juliette Lewis, Chanel Iman and boo A$AP Rocky, John Varvatos, Zac Posen, Anne V and beau Matt Harvey, Kyle MacLachlan and wife Desiree Gruber, Andre Balazs, Grace Coddington, Dermot Mulroney, Daniel Benedict, and Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir toasted this triumph as Bono, Ali Hewson, and Guy Oseary held court at a back table. Just a typical Monday night in Manhattan, you too

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