The strongest element of this film is its acting. David Oyelowo is absolutely great in his role. His performance is inspirational, and he is able to show a great amount of versatility in his role, in such an emotionally-driven part. It was really impressive, and potentially worth an Oscar nod, depending on whether he would be considered a lead or supporting actor. Marketed as the main actress was Lupita Nyong'o, who is great, but really isn't the lead of the film. That role belongs to Madina Nalwanga, who delivered a surprisingly great performance for a newcomer. Her acting was believable, her emotion was authentic, and she had a likable personality that shined through her role. I must say, she was perfectly cast in my opinion.
The writing of the film is also really good. The film is a character-driven story, so the character development is extremely strong. There are a few subplots in the film, like that of Phiona's sister, Night, that feel a bit excessive. They were not substantial enough to function to develop the character of Night, and Phiona is already developed well enough by this time. There are also a lot of time jumps, which do leave part of the story out. The film definitely has a very interesting and inspirational story. It stands out from a lot of other sports biopics by offering a lot of interesting social commentary, but not being too heavy0handed about it, breaking the norm of the genre in a good way. There is also some really good comedic relief worked into the film.
So overall, "Queen of Katwe" is a really good sports biopic. It's not perfect, but the acting and social commentary set it above and beyond most other films of the genre. If you get the chance to see it, you should.
Queen of Katwe
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.