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Originally published Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM

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‘Mother of George’: a precious tale of love and infertility

A movie review of “Mother of George,” an unexpected gem about true love, infertility and a meddling mother-in-law set in Brooklyn’s close-knit Nigerian immigrant community.

Los Angeles Times

Movie Review

‘Mother of George,’ with Danai Gurira, Isaach De Bankolé, Bukky Ajayi. Directed by Andrew Dosunmu, from a screenplay by Darci Picoult. 107 minutes. Rated R for sexuality, some language and a disturbing image. Seven Gables.

The Los Angeles Times does not provide star ratings with reviews.

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“Mother of George” is an unexpected gem about true love, infertility and a meddling mother-in-law. The couple under duress is part of Brooklyn’s close-knit Nigerian immigrant community. Not a side of that borough we usually see.

But it is the kind of distinctive, culture-driven drama from emerging filmmakers that I wish we saw more of. Darci Picoult’s screenplay is refreshingly spare and alive with energy in the hands of director Andrew Dosunmu (“Restless City”).

In “Mother of George,” Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaach De Bankolé) are very much in love. Conflicting cultures are the problem.

It begins with a traditional Nigerian wedding in a crowded Brooklyn apartment. The idea of children — one who will be named George — is woven throughout the words blessing their union. The colors are vibrant; the couple beautiful.

Despite their best efforts, 18 months after the wedding there is still no baby. Adenike’s mother-in-law (Bukky Ajayi) presses a bitter tea, a visit to a shaman and the idea of letting her son take another woman. This does not sit well.

Though the family is an extended one, husband, wife and mother-in-law are the movie’s superb core. And Gurira (AMC’s “The Walking Dead”) is exceptional here as a woman determined to find a way to become the “Mother of George.”

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