A United Kingdom (2016) Review


The dramatic and true interracial love story, between Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams which divided two nations when their actions had the potential to tear everything apart. The British government actually having the biggest impact as they look to stabilise relationships with South Africa.


The way the story moved actually quite surprised me as while the love between them was the starting point, it was not the whole film which in all honesty I was expecting. Obviously because they loved each other was the reason for the unrest but the political nature of everything was the then issue.

I think a pretty bad thing about this whole story is that it is something I had absolutely no idea about which in all honesty is very disappointing. To have no knowledge about a big part of history involving the United Kingdom and never even touched upon in at school in History lessons?

David Oyelowo is very impressive from start to finish and his speech to his tribe/people was really something else. He certainly seems to step up for the performances, and I would not be surprised at all to see this one receiving Oscar buzz. It is set up to be that type of film really as an early contender.

I will admit that I am not the biggest fan of Rosamund Pike as I have never understood the hype around her performances. But I thought she was brilliant in this film, great chemistry with Oyelowo pulling off the nervous and awkward moments very well.

That was something that felt unique with this film that the struggle and nervous moments worked for both a black man surrounding by whites and then a white woman surrounded by blacks. All trying to win the others over proving at times to be a very tough task. Even though when your watching it you are thinking that Ruth will eventually win the people over, no matter how they treat her to begin with.

The people who come off the worst in the telling of the story is the British Government who have their own agenda which eventually will be unravelled. This brought out a very commanding performance from Jack Davenport and it was also great to see Tom Felton in a pretty serious role as well.

From an acting point of view this film certainly does a lot for the British acting talent as well when you look at the cast. Then also giving a great opportunity to African actors to be involved in this historical film. It’s not full on serious constantly, the script was good to provide some moments that took the edge off and were amusing to the audience.

I was lucky enough to catch this film this morning, the first screening after it opened the BFI London Film Festival and it certainly has been pushed around the British media already with appearances from cast members to promote the film which is due for wide release next month.

Not only is it a very powerful film but a very important one as well. I am sure with the amount of publicity it is currently recieving that when it does get it’s proper release it will draw in the crowds. David Oyelowo’s performance should be enough to please anyone as he really is becoming a powerhouse for this type of film, and long may it continue!

16 thoughts on “A United Kingdom (2016) Review

  1. Sorry to hear about your train journey home. Hope you enjoyed your few days in London.
    I’m seeing Their Finest next Friday so I’ll report back! I’m seeing a few high profile films at the festival so I’ll tweet you throughout the week. I’ll also let you know if I see Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brilliant sounds great! Wish I hadn’t changed my plans and done the extra day and night although I don’t think my bank balance could have taken anymore. Scared to check it spent so much money on food. Should have went to the cheaper places! So the money I “saved” by changing my hotel from 3 nights to 2 has not really worked very well.


  2. […] Thursday started off with a trip to the Odeon in Leicester Square to see A United Kingdom which opened the BFI Film Festival the night before. It was a wonderful film and an important part of history as well, a history that I doubt many people are aware of! Brilliant performances and will be well worth seeing when it gets full release next month. In the meantime you can read my review here! […]


  3. Eventually got to see this and have to say I absolutely loved it. From the excellent acting by all the cast, the cinematography, production design through to Patrick Doyle’s wonderful score this was film making of the highest order. Interesting to note that the screenwriter, Guy Hibbert, also worked as screenwriter in another of my favourites from this year, “Eye In The Sky”. A good choice for the opening film at the LFF. Apart from the slightly rushed opening I got caught up in this extremely important period in history. A story well told and one which I didn’t know anything about.

    Bit of a shame that it has not done particularly well at the box office. I think if it had been released shortly after the LFF when it was heavily promoted it may have done better. However, I think it should be nominated in the BAFTAs next month. Also, and probably more importantly it should be in my top 20 films of the year!

    Great review and glad you enjoyed it as part of your visit to the LFF.


    • Yeah its release date is a long time after the Premiere and it had a lot of coverage at the time, plenty of showings of the trailer but people must have just lost interest. I was disappointed that I had my ticket for the following morning and ShowFilmFirst actually had special screenings on the opening night for FREE. But I really did enjoy this film a lot, I also really liked Eye in the Sky as well 🙂


  4. ShowFilmFirst – Haven’t come across this before. Thanks for mentioning it. Must try and get some more information. Do you get free tickets regularly?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not very often in all honesty, but worth signing up. You need to be quick from when they send an email out though as the tickets go fast with the codes. I often cannot make the screenings though due to work and timings as if they are mid-week usually start at 6pm. Often have Sunday morning screenings. The last film they really pushed was I, Daniel Blake they had about 3 different screenings to really push the film.


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