The Walt Disney Company has given us a long line of uplifting biographical sports dramas; what distinguishes this film about Ugandan chess player Phiona Mutesi is its complicated and colorful central setting: the Ugandan slum of Katwe, where Mutesi grew up. Director Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), who has lived in Kampala, Uganda, for more than two decades, shot on location and employed locals to play almost every role—including the teenage lead, Madina Nalwanga, whom she discovered near Katwe. The kids may not be great actors, and their accented English can be difficult to understand, but their natural spirit and gumption are unteachable qualities that many Hollywood-trained children lack. David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o are reliably superb in the critical supporting roles of Mutesi’s chess coach and young mother, respectively.