Queen of Katwe

Queen of Katwe

Queen of Katwe

Newcomer Madina Nalwanga leads this true-story chess drama, co-starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma). Directed by the great Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding).

For 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) and her family, life in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, is a constant struggle. Her mother, Harriet (Nyong’o), is fiercely determined to take care of her family and works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and have a roof over their heads. When Phiona meets Robert Katende (Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children chess, she is captivated. Chess requires a good deal of concentration, strategic thinking and risk taking, all skills which are applicable in everyday life, and Katende hopes to empower youth with the game.

Phiona is impressed by the intelligence and wit the game requires and immediately shows potential. Recognizing Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess and the fighting spirit she’s inherited from her mother, Katende begins to mentor her, but Harriet is reluctant to provide any encouragement, not wanting to see her daughter disappointed. As Phiona begins to succeed in local chess competitions, Katende teaches her to read and write in order to pursue schooling. She quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life. Her mother eventually realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and teams up with Katende to help her fulfill her extraordinary potential, escape a life of poverty and save her family.

2016Rating: PG124 minsSouth Africa
DramaSportTrue Story & Biography
95%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Quietly radical in enough ways to make you cheer despite the cliches.

0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Prepare to have your heartstrings plucked.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

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.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It's a heartfelt movie, which makes up in warmth what it lacks in narrative originality.

3.0
0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

An accessible, enjoyable story delivered in a mature and understated manner.

0
New York Post

New York Post

press

Sometimes, it's enough to walk out of a film with your heart warmed - even if your brain's still craving a little something more.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Hits every note of plucky positivity so squarely on the head that it leaves little room for audience involvement.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Its plot isn't going to win any prizes for originality, but Nair tells the story with immense warmth and cheer. You can see just about every move coming, but it's making all the right ones.

4.0
0

Walt Disney’s Queen of Katwe (2016) follows a familiar story formula and at the same time is a totally original cinema experience. How can these opposites co-exist? It is another ‘inspiring teacher’ story with a fairy tale theme of a lowly maiden who finds fame, but instead of a prince, she finds a missionary devoted to helping impoverished Ugandan...

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Quietly radical in enough ways to make you cheer despite the cliches.

0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Prepare to have your heartstrings plucked.

4.0
0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

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.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

It's a heartfelt movie, which makes up in warmth what it lacks in narrative originality.

3.0
0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

An accessible, enjoyable story delivered in a mature and understated manner.

0
New York Post

New York Post

press

Sometimes, it's enough to walk out of a film with your heart warmed - even if your brain's still craving a little something more.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Hits every note of plucky positivity so squarely on the head that it leaves little room for audience involvement.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Its plot isn't going to win any prizes for originality, but Nair tells the story with immense warmth and cheer. You can see just about every move coming, but it's making all the right ones.

4.0
0

Walt Disney’s Queen of Katwe (2016) follows a familiar story formula and at the same time is a totally original cinema experience. How can these opposites co-exist? It is another ‘inspiring teacher’ story with a fairy tale theme of a lowly maiden who finds fame, but instead of a prince, she finds a missionary devoted to helping impoverished Ugandan...

4.0
0