In the late 1940s, King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) fell in love with Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London. Their interracial marriage at the beginning of apartheid in South Africa created an international incident that changed the course of African history.

Strong performances by David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike raise the quality of this by-the-numbers look at a fascinating true-life story. Unfortunately, the political unrest between the British government and the South Africans and the disapproval on both sides that resulted from this forbidden union take a
back seat to the romance. While the two stars are worth watching, more focus on the behind-the-scenes turmoil would have made a far more interesting movie. Director Amma Asante ("Belle") and screenwriter Guy Hibbert have fashioned a film that will satisfy history buffs and those who can't get enough of the British romances that flourish on PBS and the BBC. This isn't a bad thing, unless you're craving more excitement out of a cinematic experience. Among the superb supporting cast are Jack Davenport as Sir Alistair Canning of the British Foreign Office and Tom Felton as district commissioner Rufus Lancaster, who are both determined to keep the couple apart. Oyelowo's wife Jessica has the role of Lady Lilly Canning. At the film's end are photos of the real couple and facts that catch us up on the fates of those involved. "A United Kingdom" would have benefited from a more royal treatment. (3 CAMS)

Rated PG-13 / Running Time: 111 minutes

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