Too much time and effort in Cinemaland is wasted turning film into a game of winners and losers; Movie X made Y dollars so it matters more than Movie Z. But a film is way more than its box-office total. Some of the best movies released in 2016 failed to meet their financial expectations.
Queen of Katwe
Last Friday, Walt Disney Pictures gave a limited release to Queen of Katwe, a new film inspired by the true story of a girl from the slums of Uganda who became a chess grandmaster. Though it may seem like an off-kilter choice for Disney and co-producer ESPN Films to make a bio-drama about chess, Disney has a long history of making true-story films. In the last few years, Disney has been on a kick of true-story films, interspersing them in each year’s production slate between the latest Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm entries. But which is best? Here, you’ll find our list of the 10 best Disney movies based on true stories. Get your tissues ready!
Disney movies about triumphant characters overcoming great odds often come with a heavy serving of sap, hyperbolizing struggles and achievements with a glossy Hollywood veneer. Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe doesn’t entirely do that. While there is a sweet and sentimental flourish, Nair’s film about a young Uganda chess champion plays like a sincere biopic that isn’t desperate to pry tears from your eyes or exploit a minority tale for dramatic effect.
Y’know those back to school ads for Staples? The ones that repurpose the Christmas standard “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” to celebrate children going back class? I always hated those ads as a kid. Going back to school was not a time to celebrate. It was a time for grief and mourning.
After winning an Oscar for her incredible breakthrough performance in 12 Years a Slave, Lupita Nyong’o has been awesomely unpredictable in her career choices. Instead of following up the acclaimed drama with more acclaimed dramas, Nyong’o starred in two films back-to-back where she portrayed animated characters. More than anything, it’s left us anxious to see her in another live-action film, which makes the first trailer for Queen of Katwe pretty exciting.
Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo are inarguably two of the hottest stars right now, following Nyong’o’s Oscar win for Best Supporting Actress in 2013's ‘12 Years a Slave,’ and Oyelowo’s performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in ‘Selma,’ which is generating some serious awards buzz. And now these two immensely talented actors may team up for a new Disney film about an African chess prodigy—if so, this new film may generate some awards buzz of its own before production even begins.