Cliff Curtis plays real-life Maori chess master Genesis Potini.
Who is Curtis? And for that matter, who is Potini?
Curtis is one of those actors who have you saying, “Oh, I know him” when you see him in a picture. He’s a good actor, and he’s in a very good movie about Potini, who spent much of his adult life helping Maori kids — and other kids — learn to love chess.
Pontini’s story as told by writer/director James Napier Robertson is heart-warming, inspiring and — though it’s dark in spots — entertaining. You can’t help but root for the guy. And Curtis gives a championship performance, as do his unknown co-stars.
This is a very, very good movie. It’s so good that it won best picture last year at the Seattle International Film Festival, the San Francisco Film Festival and several others. Don’t miss this one.
The Battelle Film Club in Richland will present The Dark Horse as part of its fall film series.
Cost is $4 for adults and $2 for kids. A series ticket is $16.
For more information, go to tricityfilmclub.org.
The Dark Horse
Director: James Napier Robertson
Stars: Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston, Kirk Torrence
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated R for language and some violence. It’s playing at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Battelle Auditorium in Richland.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.