A glorious drama that applies the traditional formula of
an uplifting sports film to the real-life story of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona
Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), and then goes in unexpected directions to expose the
scars horrific poverty can leave on the human soul. In adapting a book by Tim
Crothers, director Mira Nair and screenwriter William Wheeler don't attempt to
explain the vagaries of chess, other than to demonstrate Phiona's particular
talent with three-dimensional thinking. Rather, they focus on her relationships
with her supportive mom (Lupita Nyong'o) and her heroically selfless coach
(David Oyelowo). The result is a remarkably inspirational movie about the
strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Watch out for: References to cohabitation.
Rated: A-II, adults and
adolescents; MPAA: PG