Queen of Glory Reviews: Release Date | Plot | Trailer | Cast and Everything You Need to Know!

Queen of Glory is a 2021 American comedy-drama film directed and written by Nana Mensah, starring in her directorial debut. It is set in New York City’s Bronx and follows a Ghanaian-American scientist who inherits a Christian bookstore from her deceased mother.

The film premiered at the US Narrative Competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021, where Mensah got the Best New Narrative Director award as well as the Special Jury Prize for Artistic Expression. At the 37th Independent Spirit Awards, Meeko Gattuso was nominated for Best Supporting Male for his work as Pitt, while the film was nominated for Best First Feature.

Plot of Queen of Glory

Sarah Obeng is a Columbia University PhD student studying neuro-oncology. She intends to drop out of her degree and move to Ohio, where her colleague and boyfriend Lyle, whom she anticipates to divorce from his current wife, has been offered a job.

Sarah inherits her mother’s house and a Christian bookstore called King of Glory in the Pelham Parkway district of the Bronx, which she plans to sell. Sarah’s father returns from Ghana, and she arranges a wake, but family insist on a traditional Ghanaian funeral.Queen of Glory

Pitt, an ex-convict, is the bookstore’s sole employee. Sarah befriends him and keeps her intention to sell the store from him hidden.

Cast

  • Sarah Obeng is played by Nana Mensah.
  • Pitt is played by Meeko Gattuso.
  • Oberon K. A. Adjepong in the role of Godwin Obeng
  • Lyle Cummings is played by Adam Leon.
  • Russell G. Jones in the role of Hezekiah Falusi
  • Tanya Malinova is played by Anya Migdal.

Production of Queen of Glory

Mensah began writing the screenplay in 2012, after showing her script for “a sumptuous $100 million biopic” set in 1940s Ghana to a filmmaker friend and was informed that she needed to do a lesser film first in order to get it realised.

Mensah did not intend to direct the film at first, but she changed her mind after struggling to find a filmmaker who shared her vision. She was also “on the fence” about acting in the picture, so her participation as writer-director-star was a “budgetary necessity.”

In 2014, filming took place in the Bronx. Mensah’s aunt and uncle ran the bookstore, King of Glory. In 2015, post-production expenses were funded through crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

Mensah described the financing procedure as follows: “It was really difficult to get the funds… we bootstrapped it by meeting with friends of friends and asking individuals to introduce us to others in order to maximise our network. That’s how we came across a group of investors. Then we launched Kickstarter and put money in ourselves.”

Mensah met Anya Migdal, who plays a Russian-speaking neighbour and also produced the film, in an acting class. They “connected over our frustrations of being bright women who were never asked to explore that side of ourselves in our acting jobs,” Mensah added.

Rita Mawuena Benissan, an archivist Mensah met on Instagram, curated the archive video of Ghanaian gatherings interwoven throughout the film. Mensah had the idea to use archival film in the editing step. In a film “about the new world,” she described the footage as a “connection to the old country.”

Release Date

In April 2021, Magnolia Pictures International bought the film’s worldwide and U.S. sales rights, by Wikipedia. Film Movement obtained the United States rights in February 2022. On July 15, 2022, the film premiered at BAM Rose Cinemas in Brooklyn before moving to other US cities in the following weeks.

Review of ‘Queen of Glory’: Back to the Bronx

In the witty and smart feature film debut of writer-director Nana Mensah, a death causes a reckoning for an intelligent young Ghanaian-American living in both worlds.

Sarah Obeng, a molecular neuro-oncologist, is exceptionally intelligent. In “Queen of Glory,” written and directed by the film’s principal actor, Nana Mensah, however, the American daughter of Ghanaian parents can also be dumb. Consider her lover and university classmate, Lyle (Adam Leon): He is simply unworthy.

Sarah is planning their move to his next job when she discovers that her mother has passed away. Now she must relocate from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Bronx in order to prepare her mother’s burial, deal with her father (Oberon K.A. Adjepong), and determine what to do with her mother’s home, Christian bookstore, and appreciative employee, Pitt (Meeko Gattuso).

Pitt delights in particular as the ex-convict with face tattoos and a creative side gig. Mensah, the daughter of Ghanaian parents, navigates the multilingual terrain deftly, imbuing details with perceptive care and quiet laughter. Even the odd slapstick is more charming than amusing.

Sarah’s return to the neighbourhood of immigrant blending and cultural proximity arouses both her sentiments of alienation and her sense of belonging. Mensah makes light of her protagonist and addresses the flaws of some of the male characters with deadpan wit and minimal malice.

Ghanaian drumming and dance establish a recurring aural and visual motif that is both disruptive and cohesive. With so many responsibilities, Sarah has had little time for sorrow. When her reality, the drumming, and the archive footage of African gatherings in the film eventually intersect, a mother, a motherland, and a daughter finally receive their emotional due.

Trailer for Queen of Glory

Official trailer for the movie Queen of Glory is available and is given in this article.

Reception

Based on 19 reviews, the film has an approval rating of 84% on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 7.2/10.

Nick Schager, writing for Variety, “Mensah conjures the complex links that bind immigrants to their heritages and the ways in which these relationships may both facilitate and impede personal development and progress. The writer-succinct director’s storytelling catches this complex brew with almost no unnecessary gestures or diversions “.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Lovia Gyarkye wrote that the film “avoids the usual tropes of ‘West Africans in America’ narratives by focusing on the small details of Ghanaian life” and that it is “tightly conceived, witty, and compassionate” as well as “a love letter to the children of Ghanaian immigrants and the Bronx.”

Peter Sobczynski of RogerEbert*com compared the film to “watching a well-oiled sitcom in which all of the actors play off each other so wonderfully that they hardly appear to be acting.”

Lisa Kennedy of The New York Times commented, “Mensah traverses the polyglot terrain with aplomb, imbuing details with shrewd fondness and quiet laughter.” Richard Brody of The New Yorker stated, “Working with cinematographer Cybel Martin, Mensah creates a distinct visual aesthetic that is as unforgettable as the narrative.”

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