Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Premiering Tonight at 10pm: 2-Part Documentary 'Freeway: Crack in the System' on Al Jazeera America (Trailer) Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Trailer for Animated Feature Film Inspired by True Story of Afro-Arab Slave Who Became "Voice of Islam" Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) Mo'Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for 'Precious' + Responds to Lee Daniels "Play the Game" Advice (Video) 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later 'Cooley High' Writer and Cast Reflect on the Film 40 Years Later Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series Attn. Actors: African American & Latino Men & Women Sought for Major Roles in Baz Luhrmann's Netflix Drama Series So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? So What’s Byron Allen's $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, Time Warner, Al Sharpton & the NAACP all About? A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral A New Edition Biopic Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You If This Fan-Made Trailer Goes Viral HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped MSNBC is Changing Its Tune and Rev Al Is Getting Bumped Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Films & TV Series That Are Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library Next Month (March) Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Check Out These Photos of Mo'Nique, Queen Latifah, Khandi Alexander & Michael K. WIlliams From HBO's Bessie Smith Bio + Premiere Date Set Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Oscars Telecast Ratings at 6-Year Low. So Was Nielsen Right About Correlation Between Black Nominees & Viewers? Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Here's the Story That the Denzel Washington/Antoine Fuqua 'Magnificent Seven' Remake Will Tell Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Watch Footage From Marlon Wayans' Richard Pryor Audition Tape Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results Mike Tyson Went to Algeria to Make the Country's "First Martial Arts Film"... Here's a First Look at the Results Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online Now You Can Watch All 10 Oscar Nominated Short Films (Live Action & Animation) Online Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' 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...

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