Clearly, I am a big fan of the Disney live action, motivational films. Queen of Katwe is another excellent addition to the roster.
It is a far better film than it should be. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, David Oyelowo, and Madina Nalwanga. Based on a true story and a book by the same name.
From Google: “Living in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle for 10-year-old Phiona (Madina Nalwanga) and her family. Her world changes one day when she meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a missionary who teaches children how to play chess. Phiona becomes fascinated with the game and soon becomes a top player under Katende’s guidance. Her success in local competitions and tournaments opens the door to a bright future and a golden chance to escape from a life of poverty.”
It’s directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake) with astonishing care and authenticity. And the performances by the leading actors are really awards worthy. Lupita Nyong’o is truly remarkable and a formidable talent. David Oyelowo and Madina Nalwanga also deliver exceptional work.
And I agree with the NYTimes reviewer, A.O. Scott who writes, “If there is anyone out there capable of remaining unmoved by this true-life triumph-of-the-underdog sports story, I don’t think I want to meet that person.”