Mother Of George (2013)
Critic Consensus: Director Andrew Dosunmu's style takes some getting used to, but Mother of George compensates with powerful acting, a thoughtful script, and gorgeous visuals.
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Critic Reviews for Mother Of George
After a while it's hard to take Dosunmu's barrage of off-center compositions ... dialogue sequences that have the actor converse with empty space, and close-ups that reduce faces and objects to blobs of light.
It takes about 60 seconds before the elegant "Mother of George" has you firmly inside the world it has created.
In the end, "George" becomes almost as irritating as that mother-in-law.
It's a powerfully sensual movie, gorgeously lensed colors and textures conveying its characters emotional states while thoughtfully exploring the range of human sexuality through Adenike's experience.
Audience Reviews for Mother Of George
In "Mother of George," everybody is celebrating the marriage between Ayodele(Isaach De Bankole) and Adenike(Danai Gurira), with his mother(Bukky Ajayi) even choosing a name for their yet to be conceived son. But it turns out they will all have to wait a while. As bad as the wait is at the start, it becomes especially excruciating by 18 months, as Adenike looks to her friend Sade(Yaya DaCosta) for solace and possible answers.
"Mother of George" is a finely tuned look at the conflicts that may arise when traditions are imported to other countries such as the United States, as other choices until now previously thought impossible present themselves. All of which is smartly centered around something that many of us might take for granted but here is a situation that gets increasingly more serious and perilous.
But what I find curious is the way "Mother of George" is filmed. Not so much the digital camerawork which highlights nicely the colors on Adenike's beautiful gowns. No, it is the way the movie mostly blurs out everybody but the central characters. For me sometimes, it is the details of a character's life that can be just as interesting as anything else, like the dollar van Adenike rides to an appointment, which is not something you see in every film.
This Nigerian drama directed by Andrew Dosunmu premièred in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Outstanding cinematography saw Bradford Young walking away with the Sundance 2013's Cinematography Award: U.S. Dramatic for his work on this film and Ain't Them Bodies Saints. It has the feel of the African and American films at the same time, and that was the beauty I found in it! Andrew Dosumnu is already acclaimed director and he knows how to capture the refined cultural implications of this unique and very often fascinating culture while creating a colourful, pleasant but raw enough, realistic, and emotionally embracing portrait of a closely knit family... a family that is holding each other so close that chokes the individuals with joys and struggles of all members.
The screenplay written by Darci Picoult tells the story of a newly married Nigerian couple Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé). They live in Brooklyn and Ayodele or Ayo owns and manages a small restaurant. Following the joyous and elaborate celebration of their wedding, they will soon start struggling with fertility issues. Not a small issue in a big family with different cultural expectations than modern Western type family. Under pressure, the matriarchate of the family is leading Adenike to make a shocking decision that could either save her family or destroy it.
If you are ready for a movie which boasts gripping performances from Danai Gurira (of The Visitor, The Walking Dead, and Treme) and Isaach De Bankolé (whose distinguished filmography includes career-spanning collaborations with such directors as Claire Denis and Jim Jarmusch), you would like to enjoy some of the gorgeous cinematography from Bradford Young (of Pariah, Middle of Nowhere, and Dosunmu's 2011 feature Restless City), try to get this film and enjoy the intimate but somehow universal themes in amazingly unique culture which could be among us passing unnoticed while we have our own struggles. Far from perfect, but worth watching!
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