Directed by Amma Asante (Belle), this ambitious historical romance revisits the scandalous 1947 marriage of Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), heir to the throne of the Bamangwato people in the British protectorate of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white insurance clerk he met while studying law in London. The early scenes, detailing the lovers’ careful courtship inside the racial codes of postwar Britain, are the best, driven by the leads’ charm and onscreen chemistry. The film grows more dully instructional, however, as screenwriter Guy Hibbert (Eye in the Sky) outlines the political ramifications of this interracial marriage for the Bamangwato, who balked at accepting a white woman as their queen, and for the British, who tried to drive Khama from the throne to protect their diplomatic relations with apartheid South Africa just across the border.