6.9/10
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50 user 47 critic

Wah-Wah (2005)

Set at the end of the '60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gwen Traherne
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Lauren Compton
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Lady Riva Hardwick
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June Broughton
John Matshikiza ...
Dr. Zim Mzimba
Sid Mitchell ...
Vernon
John Carlisle ...
Sir Gifford Hardwick
Mathokoza Sibiya ...
Dozen
Sindisiswe Nxumalo ...
Regina
Michael Richard ...
Tobias
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Storyline

Set at the end of the '60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, till he's 14. It is written and directed by Richard E Grant, and based on true events from Richard E Grant's childhood. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every family has its own language.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

2 June 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Conquista da Liberdade  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$55,304 (USA) (12 May 2006)

Gross:

$233,103 (USA) (23 June 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rachel Weisz, Toni Collette, Meg Ryan and Emmanuelle Béart all turned down roles. See more »

Goofs

When Ralph comforts Ruby at the hospital, her dress starts slipping from her right shoulder. When the camera takes a close shot, the dress is up to her neck. See more »

Quotes

Ruby Compton: I'm an American.
Lady Riva Hardwick: How very hubbly jubbly for you.
See more »

Connections

References Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Written by Eric Maschwitz, Jack Strachey & Manning Sherwin
Performed by Vera Lynn
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User Reviews

 
Saw premier of Wah-Wah at Edinburgh
19 August 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Saw Wah-Wah at the Edinburgh International Film Festival – this is a really wonderful film. The story is told from the point of view of Ralph, a child witnessing the breakdown of his parent's marriage and dealing with his father's alcoholism and hasty remarriage. Both the colonial life and the adult relationships are seen, unflatteringly, from Ralph's perspective, and this could easily have been just another caricature of colonial decadence and the end of empire. In fact, despite the sombre story, it has humour and warmth as well as emotional impact. It also looks stunning: it is hard to believe this is Richard Grant's first film. All the cast give strong performances, even if most of them are hardly playing against type: Celia Imry could probably do the "upper-class bitch" and Julie Walters the "blowsy but good-hearted neighbour" in their sleep: but the core relationship between Ralph and his father Harry, played by Gabriel Byrne, is just electrifying. Byrne is totally convincing as the dedicated colonial administrator whose unresolved feelings for his first wife and fears for his future after independence drive him to alcoholism and nearly wreck his second marriage (to the also excellent Emily Watson). According to the press the film has yet to find a distributor: let's hope it is quickly picked up – this is ten times better than any of this summer's blockbusters, and deserves to be seen.


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