Mother Of George - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mother Of George Reviews

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½ March 31, 2016
Mother of George is a visually arresting film that captures the Nigerian culture in a western world. Director Andrew Dosunmu opens the film with a traditional Nigerian wedding, a profuse exhibit of joyous music, customary blessings and vestments bursting with dynamic colors. It is the union of Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé), where within the wedding rituals and conversations you would appreciate the importance of respecting and preserving traditions in Ayodele's family. Family and guests anoint the bride with dollar notes, and Ayodele's mother Ma Ayo (Bukky Ajayi) gives her blessings, citing "Adenike, you and your husband, nothing will ruin you two. You will give birth to a son. You will give birth to a daughter too. You will give birth to twins as well." Soon Adenike is sitting the bedroom, while waiting for her husband to take her on their first night, she receives fertility beads from her mother-in-law. Along with it is a carrier that Ma Ayo used to carry her son on her back, asserting her demands again as she suggests that her daughter-in-law would carry her grandchild in it as well. The unborn grandchild is even given a name, George Babatunde Balogun. These opening ten minutes prepensely set the tone for the film, where fertility would be conceiving a breed of dilemma, turmoil and lies within the Nigerian family living in Brooklyn, as the newlyweds undergo a burdensome marriage that is not blessed with an offspring.
Dosunmu's experience as a fashion creative director and photographer is definitely eminent in the film, adeptly translated into a richly textured story. Mother of George is visually exquisite, as Dosunmu weaves an array of exuberant colors, elaborate customs and still shots with off-centre framing into his film. I like the subtle yet absorbing soundtrack as well, from the faint Nigerian juju music in the background to the sound mix that helps build accentuations when needed. The filming is deliberately made to echo the characters' sense of dislocation. "I wanted to show a New York completely different from what you usually see. What I really love about it is that many immigrants have their own oases in this metropolis," Dosunmu who is an émigré himself shares (he moved to the city from Nigeria 18 years ago). He also explains that the camera follows Adenike in a way that is both claustrophobic and uncertain, with the intention to make the audience feel just like her. "We want to see more, but we can't, and that's how she feels; she wants more clarity, but she doesn't have the solution."
The fertility drama is further accomplished with the profound acting, especially by the lead Gurira. The actress of Zimbabwean descent, known for her role in AMC's TV series The Walking Dead, is a treat to watch. Her stoic face shows us her adamant pursue to make her family complete, yet your hearts will be stolen when you watch her breaking down as she struggles to conform to tradition. Coupled with eloquent writing by Darci Picoult, and breathtaking cinematography by Bradford Young, who won Cinematography Awards at the Sundance Film Festival for his work on Pariah (2011), Mother of George and Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013), Mother of George is evocative, equally stunning and heartbreaking to watch. It also co-stars Tony Okungbowa and Yaya Alafia.
March 29, 2015
Wonderful film! It is great to see a universal problem as infertility experienced in all kinds cultures. I love the authenticity of the story and it's richness. I recommend to anyone interested in the African immigrant experienced living in Brooklyn!
March 24, 2015
Good movie aesthetic and cultural point of view. The film is a little sleepy, but has value.
December 9, 2014
Danai Jekesai Gurira is amazing though, I felt the film should of had a stronger ending and a little bit of a faster pace. Aside from the large spaces in between dialogue, the characters were well executed with a purpose, had strong emotions, and objectives.
½ September 7, 2014
A touching immigrant drama in which the camera loves foregrounding as much as it loves it's characters.
August 4, 2014
While the script was uneventful and dialogue unrealistic, the cinematography featured in Mother of George is unforgettable, breaking all the rules in film, and is only sometimes frustrating.
August 3, 2014
This is a a very visually appealing film backed by a script full of hard choices and consequences. A Nigerian immigrant family finds deceit and discord as they try to mesh their culture with American culture and medical system.
June 8, 2014
The cinematography is unique. The acting is wonderful. The story draws you in quickly and keeps you until the end. A lovely film about a complex culture.
June 6, 2014
This is a beautiful story of an expanded Nigerian family living in Brooklyn. A young married woman makes a decision that threatens to destroy the family. I don't usually shed tears but this movie created a few. Critics rated this one much higher than audiences did, but I thought it was beautifully done.
April 27, 2014
Had potential, and there's some okay moments, but mostly it just feels bobbled and derivative.
March 29, 2014
Interesting movie, to say the least. I'm not sure what else to say ...
March 29, 2014
I'm glad I saw this, as many people won't see this...its about a black woman trying to get a child and the force of her mother in law she has decisions to make..

Can you believe this movie is made in New York..when you watch this it feels like a Nigerian movie...the sex scenes where very uneasy to watch just wish it over..

A brilliant perspective about these people and their cultures and there troubles...when you watch this just know that another family somewhere in the world is going through the exact same thing...this film was special A-
March 7, 2014
great direction by Dosunmu and a brilliant script by Picoult. Superb acting from Danai Gurira, very different from her Walking Dead role.
½ March 4, 2014
Great cinematography in this film.
½ February 13, 2014
TFrustrations one family faces between tradition and assimilation, freedom and obligation, success and personal fulfillment feels as movingly universal as culturally specific. The joy is in the detail of Dosunmu's film, the nuance of a relationship as richly complex as the African print dresses that Adenike favours.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2014
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!
October 31, 2013
A moving work about the plight of African (or any )women. Worth seeing. Has "The Perfect ending."
½ October 31, 2013
DP Bradford Young is the star here, with some of the most gorgeously textured and sensual lensing I've seen since "In the Mood for Love." It's so ornate and heavily saturated, it almost distracts from the delicately handled narrative and strong, sensitive performances.
Super Reviewer
½ October 23, 2013
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.
October 1, 2013
Visually arresting yet narratively deficient, this film furthers the case that Bradford Young is the most sophisticated visualists working today and the standard-bearer for the Harris Savides school of cinematography.
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