Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More) Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More)

Maryland Film Fest Review: 'Mother of George' Is The Best Film I’ve Seen Thus Far This Year

Shadow and Act By Dankwa Brooks | Shadow and Act May 21, 2013 at 11:53AM

Every year I pick a favorite film, among the many I see at the Maryland Film Festival, and this year it's a truly remarkable one—Mother of George.
10
Danai Gurira Ma'George

Every year I pick a favorite film, among the many I see at the Maryland Film Festival, and this year it's a truly remarkable one—Mother of George.

I knew going into this film that it would have good direction and cinematography having seen director Andrew Dosunmu and cinematographer Bradford Young’s last collaboration Restless City at the 2011 MFF, but they really took it to the next level with this one.

Stunning is kind of an understatement to explain the opening of the film, as it has one of the most beautiful traditional Yoruba wedding ceremonies ever captured on film. Cinematographer Bradford Young explained in the Q&A after the film that he and the director Dosunmu, fought and poured over every frame of that sequence because it was important, as it represented the culture, the motherland; and all of their work shows. 

Recognition must also be given to Costume Designer Mobolaji Dawodu for all of the beautiful wedding attire that completed the scene.

Mother of George revolves around the newlywed couple in that opening wedding sequence: Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé) and Adenike (Danai Gurira). You get to see the pageantry of a Yoruba wedding and all of their observances, including their ceremony, naming their yet-to-be-conceived first son—George.

Under the watchful eye of her mother-in-law, Ma Ayo (Bukky Ajayi), new bride Adenike fails to conceive, and this causes her much internal angst as she feels her marriage may be in trouble because of it. 

The resulting story by screenwriter Darci Picoult is not only wonderfully infused with African culture, but takes turns of Shakespearean proportions that leaves you guessing until the very last frame.

The performances across the board are also great. Isaach De Bankolé as Ayodele lends a quiet intensity to his role as the owner of a small Nigerian restaurant in Brooklyn. You can tell that he is the eldest son and the apple of his mother’s eye. 

Bukky Ajayi is great as the domineering matriarch Ma Ayo; and Anthony Okungbowa (mostly known as “DJ Tony” on the ‘Ellen’ show) gives a really good performance as the carefree younger brother. 

But it is Danai Gurira as Adenike who owns this picture. This film revolves around her and everything she has to go through in her young marriage with a man she truly loves.   

From the ebullient opening of the wedding, to sullenness of her inability to conceive, Danai Gurira gives one of the best performances of the year. Even when she isn’t saying anything you can see the angst and turmoil Adenike is going through all over her face. 

Audiences will know Gurira from her role as the sword wielding “Michonne” on the TV series The Walking Dead, but while she is good on the show, she excels in George - a role that gives her more range and depth to work with.

This year Mother of George was the Closing Night Film of the Maryland Film Festival, and out of the twelve feature films I saw at this year’s festival, it was the best! 

Great direction, beautiful cinematography, brilliant story and impressive acting made Mother of George an excellent motion picture.

Even though Mother of George was picked up for distribution shortly after its debut at the Sundance Film Festival in January, it has no set theatrical release; but please be on the lookout for it, it wasn’t just the best picture I saw at the MFF this year; it is the best picture I’ve seen this year thus far. Really.


I review more good films and post more film info on the 'Nother Brother Entertainment blog and you can always talk film with me on Twitter @NotherBrother

This article is related to: Andrew Dosunmu


Shadow & ActNewsletter