Suzanne Tenner
Nina Terrero
August 15, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Beyond the Lights

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
116 minutes
Wide Release Date
11/14/14
performer
Minnie Driver, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker
director
Gina Prince Bythewood
distributor
Relativity Media
genre
Drama

We gave it a B+

Gugu Mbatha-Raw felt more comfortable in her corsets for the colonial drama Belle than with the artificial nails she put on to play a pop star in writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights. ”I broke so many nails — they were always lying all over the place,” she recalls, laughing. But starring as Noni — a songstress torn between her calculating momager (Minnie Driver) and her attraction to a sweet security guard (Nate Parker) — required more than multiple trips to the manicurist. The British actress spent hours in the recording studio (”I sing on every track,” she says), learned numerous dance routines, and even took notes backstage at the 2012 Grammy Awards.

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