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Keeping Mum (2005)


Duration 1h 39m Rating (UK) 15
Source of story An original screenplay
Director Niall Johnson
Writers/Script Richard Russo, Niall Johnson (Story Richard Russo)
Starring Rowan Atkinson, Kristen Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, Patrick Swayze, Tamsin Egerton, Liz Smith, Emilia Fox, James Booth

Elevator Pitch: A vicar’s family is falling to pieces because he is not paying attention to them. His wife is contemplating an affair with her golf pro, his son is being bullied at school, his teenage daughter is screwing every young man in the area, and he is not proving to be a success with his sermons. Enter a middle aged lady, Grace, who installs herself as their housekeeper and begins to set things to rights, advising him on presentation, seeing to the bullies and eliminating problematic neighbours.  It is only when they see Grace on TV that the family understand what is happening.

Content: People are killed, but not in an overtly violent way, there is a bit of female nudity but probably the most alarming sight is Patrick Swayze in a thong. No drinking, smoking or drugs, some sexual activity implied. There is a scene at the beginning of the film apparently many years ago, involving a steam train, which is the basis for what happens later. The cast interact in the house and garden of the vicarage. Grace is seen to be dealing with various problems. The vicar addresses a conference.

A View: The critics just about favoured this outing, and the general public quite liked it. Its problem is that it is so tentative. Kristen Scott Thomas swears well but not enough, the vicar bumbles but avoids being Mr Bean and despite stripping off a bit the teenage daughter is surprisingly unsexy. And worst of all while the story is fine the script lacks humour. The location is supposed to be Somerset, but I could not place the scenery – it turned out to be the Isle of Man. Just about worth your time but only a watch for nothing.

Additional Info: This film has had the lowest estimated production cost of any I have reviewed at $169,000. So it is added to the list of those which have covered their cost on their first weekend, taking about $800, 000.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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