Want to see a nice, old-fashioned, wonderfully uplifting movie?
Then run, don’t walk, out to the nearest theater that is showing QUEEN OF KATWE and watch it make your day!
The movie focuses on Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan child living in extreme poverty. The family lives in a shack and sleeps on the floor. She and her siblings don’t attend school. They can’t afford it. They sell vegetables in the outdoor market to help their mother. The father is nowhere to be found and has, apparently, abandoned his family.
Enter a chess coach who is working in a “Sports Ministry” while he awaits a better job. Then watch how the devoted coach, played by David Oyelowo, begins to turn everything around for Phiona, in whom he recognizes a touch of genius…
Phiona is played by a newcomer, Madina Nalwanga. She’s a luminous child and it’s impossible not to root for her. I just researched her now and found out that her journey to starring in this movie is similar to that of Phiona. Both came from poor backgrounds, but look at where they are now! They’re both an inspiration.
David Oyelowo, by the way, is a phenomenal actor that I’ve written about before. He was overlooked for an Oscar nomination when he gave a terrific performance as Martin Luther King in SELMA. When that happened, I wrote:
As they used to say in Brooklyn when the Dodgers didn’t win the pennant, “Wait until next year!” The day will dawn when you “go home with Oscar.” I think it’s inevitable.
Indeed, I still think it’s inevitable! I’m hoping that this year David Oyelowo gets nominated, and for QUEEN OF KATWE this time. I’m hoping that Hollywood’s recent newcomer, Madina Nalwanga, gets an Oscar nod this year, too!