Terrific Cynthia Erivo earns rave reviews for Harriet Tubman biopic after casting controversy

Terrific Cynthia Erivo earns rave reviews for Harriet Tubman biopic (Picture: Universal Pictures)

Cynthia Erivo was given rave reviews after her Harriet Tubman biopic debuted at the Toronto Film Festival.

When lading the role last year, the 32-year-old was flooded with complaints from African-Americans and some Black Americans who felt she was an inappropriate choice because of her Nigerian-British heritage.

However, it looks as though the Tony award winner has proved critics wrong, as her performance in Harriet has been called terrific.

Cynthia Erivo gives a terrific star performance as Tubman, The Guardians Peter Bradshaw gushed: Erivo embodies Harriets courage, resourcefulness, physical toughness, talent (and relish) for disguise and untutored genius for guerrilla warfare.

Indie Wire also praised the star: Erivo brings such startling conviction to the performance that shes always a remarkable figure of perseverance, and smooths over many of the rougher patches.

Harriet Tubman trailer
Her casting was controversial (Picture: Universal Pictures)

Eric Khon added of the film: As a sentimental tribute, it hardly transcends expectations — but Erivos performance injects a palpable urgency to the material that makes up for missed time.



And it seems Varietys Owen Gleiberman was just as impressed, as he wrote: Cynthia Erivo, the British singer and actress who takes on the title role of Harriet, nails that thousand-yard glare with a furious and mournful eloquence.

She looks just like youd imagine Harriet Tubman might have looked when she wasnt staring down a photographers lens.

He continued: As Harriet, Erivo communicates anger and anguish, fear and resolve, all held together by something like possession.

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When fans started to brand the casting controversial back in 2018, Cynthia took to Instagram to defend her role.

At the time she stated: I struggled a little with whether or not to post anything about this role, because even though there is so much celebration and encouragement coming through, theres also anger and offense spurred on by my being from the UK….



I guess there is a bigger conversation to be had about heritage and experience, also about who Harriet really was.

That can not be had in an Instagram post, what I will say is that my journey to this woman has been long and detailed and one I have not taken lightly.

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