“Queen of Katwe” (Disney)

Lupita Nyong'o and Madina Nalwanga star in a scene from the movie "Queen of Katwe." The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. (CNS/Disney)

By Catholic News Service

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.

References to cohabitation. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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