Netflix coming-of-age miniseries The Queen’s Gambit has taken the world by storm. As of November 23, 2020, the 7-episode series has been watched by 62 million households, hence becoming the most-viewed Netflix scripted limited series of all time. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an aggregate score of 100%.
In addition to generating public interest in chess, The Queen’s Gambit has also been praised by the professional chess community. Audiences who have already binged all 7 episodes might be looking for something similar to watch. Well, here are the best movies and TV shows about prodigies like Anya Taylor-Joy.
10 Gifted (2017)
Gifted tells the story of Mary Adler, a seven-year-old girl who shows signs of having extraordinary math skills. Mary is raised by her uncle Frank (Chris Evans) after her mathematician mother commits suicide. While Frank wants her to live a normal life, Mary’s grandmother wants her to tap into her talent for glory. Mary soon finds herself in a custody battle between the two.
The movie was widely praised by critics upon for its portrayal of family conflicts. It also grossed $43 million against a modest budget of $7 million, thus turning a huge profit.
9 Young Sheldon (2017 t0 present)
Young Sheldon is a spin-off prequel to the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory. It follows Sheldon Cooper, a child who has the ability to handle advanced mathematics and science problems.
Despite being a genius, Sheldon is socially awkward. His intelligence also gives him an unregulated sense of superiority. He chooses his own way, even if it’s the wrong one. The series starts with Sheldon at the age of 9. He is scheduled to start college in Season 4 at the young age of 14.
8 Akeelah And The Bee (2006)
After languishing in development hell for 10 years due to lack of funding, Akeelah And The Bee was finally picked up by Lionsgate. The studio decided to make the movie after the success of a similarly-themes documentary titled Spellbound.
The drama film revolves around Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) an 11-year-old girl who happens to be a spelling master. Living in a chaotic home, her coach Dr. Joshua Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) does all he can to remove her obstacles and help her become a national spelling champion.
7 Billy Elliot (2000)
The British dance drama is set in County Durham, England during the miners’ strike in the ’80s. The plot covers the story of a young boy who discovers he has extraordinary dancing skills hence he begins practicing ballet. Sadly, his father is strongly against his newfound passion because he believes ballet is for the female gender.
Billy Elliot is adapted from the play Dancer by Lee Hall. The movie was a huge commercial success, grossing $109.3 million globally against a budget of $5 million. It was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.
6 Queen Of Katwe (2016)
Chess fans who were impressed by The Queen’s Gambit might want to take a look at the Queen Of Katwe. The award-winning movie has a couple of big-name actors among the cast, including Lupita Nyongo and David Oyelewo.
The story revolves around a girl named Phiona Mutesi, a young girl living in a slum named Katwe in the East African nation of Uganda. First taking up chess as a hobby, she frequently polishes her move and begins participating in global tournaments. She eventually becomes a Woman Candidate Master.
5 Little Man Tate (1991)
Jodie Foster made her directorial debut in Little Man Tate. She also starred as the main character’s mother. Both critics and audiences were in awe of the movie.
The story is about Fred, a young boy who is exceptionally good at mathematics. He also has a mastery of the piano, enabling him to play at a competitive level. A woman running a school for gifted children approaches his mother but she refuses to enroll Fred, wanting him to live a normal life. When she realizes Fred has no friend, she consents.
4 The Kindergarten Teacher (2018)
The Kindergarten Teacher is adapted from an Israeli movie of the same name. It won the “Best Directing” award at the Sundance Film Festival and has a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie follows Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a kindergarten teacher who is dissatisfied with her middle-class life. She soon realizes that one of her students named Jimmy has a talent for reading and reciting extraordinary poems. Events take a dark twist when she becomes obsessive and possessive over Jimmy.
3 Vitus (2006)
Vitus is a unique film in that it stars the real-life Swiss piano prodigy Teo Gheorghiu. Events revolve around Vitus (Teo Gheorghiu), a 12-year-old boy who is highly gifted with the keys.
The rules and restrictions from his parents prevent him from fully tapping into his career so he escapes and goes to live with his grandfather. It turns out Vitus is good with numbers too. He invests in the stock market and becomes rich. He thus invests most of his earnings into his career as a pianist.
2 Shine (1996)
The biographical drama movie covers the ups and downs of David Helfgott, a gifted pianist, who suffers through childhood due to abuse from his father. The abuse makes him suffer mental breakdowns in the future, forcing him to be institutionalized. However, he overcomes his challenges and becomes a legend.
Shine made $36 million against a budget of $6 million. Lead actor Geoffrey Rush won an Oscar for Best Actor at the 69th Academy Awards for his performance as David Helfgott.
1 Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993)
Need another Chess fix? Searching for Bobby Fischer is the movie for you. As a confirmation of how brilliant it is, it has an impressive 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The movie tells the story of real-life chess player Josh Waitzkin. In it, Josh’s family discovers his talent and vow to nurture it. They hire a chess teacher named Bruce Pandolfini, who vows to make him as good as chess legend Bobby Fischer. Josh eventually goes against the teachings and manages to implement his own winning moves.
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