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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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5 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

2 June 2006 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Bla-Bla  »

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:

|

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

The movie supposedly starts in 1969 with the date appearing on the screen. Yet Swaziland received independence on 6 September 1968. See more »

Quotes

Ralph Compton - 11 years old: Why is Daddy's medal stupid?
Lauren Compton: Because all those idiots, dressed up like bloody vanilla ice creams, think that it's a suitable reward for enduring a lifetime of boredom out here in this... middle of bloody nowhere, that's why!
See more »

Connections

Features A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodnight Sweetheart
Written by Ray Noble, Jimmy Campbell & Reginald Connelly
Performed by Ray Noble and his Orchestra
Vocalist: Al Bowlly
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User Reviews

Well-paced ensemble multi-layered but 'old-fashioned' movie
12 June 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It was fairly brave of Richard E Grant to 'come out' as a director when acting would be such a secure option for him; particularly now as the role of director, especially of relatively small independent films such as this, involves all the hustling traditionally taken care of by the producer. Although he has been low-profile as an actor for some time, paying the rent by sticking to supporting roles ( lots of them, though), at the same time he has been fighting to get this semi-autobiographical saga up to the screen. A look at a disintegrating family could be set anywhere, but this is specific to Swaziland, where the collapse of the British Empire and the end of Deference mirror the uncertainties of young Ralph Compton's life. As a little boy (Zachary Fox) he finds himself in the back seat while his mother has it off with her husband's best friend; then as an adolescent rebel (Nicholas Hoult of 'About a Boy') he has to cope with mum's desertion and dad's alcoholism while discovering 'A Clockwork Orange' and experimenting with becoming a droog. There are so many concurrent plots that every time you think, Ah, so it's that kind of film, the layers shift again. Coming-of-age, end-of-empire, adults being stupid and cruel, the class system and white supremacy turning sclerotic; these elements weave and thrust against the African landscape and inbred British colonialism. This is the world that the kids will inherit. Celia Imrie and Fenella Woolgar are a joy to watch as they 'do' the snooty dames with such natural outraged dignity, but the surprise is to see the so-English Emily Watson make such a convincing low-class Manhattanite. The old ways are going out the window, serenaded as they go by the kind of lush, romantic soundtrack that also had had its time, and adds another taste of verisimilitude. Comparisons are useful, not odious, and it's fair to relate this kind of breathless well-paced ensemble production to Altman. One last touch of the Old Ways: it stops when it gets to the ... CLIFF HANLEY


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