Though Asante is no stylist or and no very deep psychologist, she is adept at reaching an audience through direct storytelling.
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The real treasure of A United Kingdom is the tender chemistry between Oyelowo and Pike, whose scenes together offer the film’s best moments.
Seretse and Ruth eventually stop being individuals, transforming instead into a concept of strength and unity bolstering the real plot despite initially seeming as though they were building it.
Bolstered by real events and true emotion, A United Kingdom opts for genuine, hard-won feeling, and the film studiously backs off from cheesy moments or over-the-top revelations.
Maybe any biopic risks naïveté in suggesting the agony of postwar Africa can be soothed by a love story about a handsome prince. But this movie has candour, heartfelt self-belief, and an unfashionable conviction that love conquers all - though not immediately.
These two are meant to be together, as the film’s clever title suggests, though all the truly interesting things they accomplished happen only after that reunion.
Pike and Oyelowo have a hearty, wholemeal chemistry together, and play their small moments with sincerity and a light elegance.
A United Kingdom hits all of the necessary emotional notes and political intrigue of a solid historical figure drama.
A United Kingdom is just a little too cosy and sentimental for its own good.
A workmanlike and sometimes clumsy screenplay is not enough to extinguish the spark from this real-life fairytale romance, which delivers both a heartfelt emotional story and a grim lesson in 20th-century British foreign policy.