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Gideon's Daughter (2005)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  23 March 2006 (USA)
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Bill Nighy and Miranda Richardson star in a story of grief and celebrity, set in the intense spring and summer of New Labour's election victory and Diana's death. Nighy is a PR guru who has... See full summary »


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Title: Gideon's Daughter (TV Movie 2005)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Samantha Whittaker ...
Daniel Mendoza ...
Badalamenti Spokesman
Council Leader
Michael Fitzpatrick ...
American Producer
Graham Cull ...
Hospital Stranger


Bill Nighy and Miranda Richardson star in a story of grief and celebrity, set in the intense spring and summer of New Labour's election victory and Diana's death. Nighy is a PR guru who has to stop and re-evaluate his world when his daughter threatens to leave his life, perhaps as revenge for his serial infidelities. Richardson plays a mother trying to bury her grief in an unconventional way after the loss of her young son. Written by Anonymous

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23 March 2006 (USA)  »

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A Filha de Gideon  »

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Did You Know?


David Westhead was injured in an accident while filming. See more »


During the cycle path protest, Stella puts her camera in its case, but in the next shot it is back out again. See more »


Featured in The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Middle Aged Male Fantasy of Breakdown and Life Affirmation
26 March 2006 | by (Queens, NY) – See all my reviews

"Gideon's Daughter" brings to a TV film a trend that is mostly obvious in literary fiction – the middle-aged man who thinks he is the center of the universe and the whole world revolves around him, and faces some kind of break down if any of his women show a bit of independence.

Written and directed by playwright Stephen Poliakoff, he mines similar territory as Cheever, Updike, Ford, Amis, Roth, etc. thrust into the center of English celebrity and political culture. The theme is even awkwardly made redundant by an odd structure of having another middle-aged man tell the tale to another pretty young woman and a mysterious kid.

Here, Bill Nighy's media consultant only perceives such events as Princess Diana's death or the upcoming millennium in terms of how it affects him. In press interviews, Nighy has said that Poliakoff intentionally directed him to play the main character as "stripped" but one certainly doesn't see how this catatonic schmoozer even got to his professional pinnacle. His past and current sexual adventures certainly seem more male fantasy than anything based on his charisma of any kind.

Tom Hardy, who was quite captivating as Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester in the recent Queen Elizabeth I mini-series, shows much more suitable feistiness, as a cross between Jeremy Piven's agent in "Entourage" and Bradley Whitford's canny adviser in "The West Wing."

Miranda Richardson has the stereotyped role we've seen many times before of the quirky stranger (she dresses like an old hippie) from another class and lifestyle, but with a pained past with a child, who tempts him to play hooky and more. It is startlingly different for this genre that she is close to age appropriate.

A creepy centerpiece, and repeating motif, is the consultant's daughter (Emily Blunt getting to show little of the passion she displayed in "My Summer of Love") singing a lovely ballad in tribute to philanderer Georges Simenon's suicidal daughter. The story is particularly weakened by not seeing more of Blunt's life when she's not being the adoring daughter.

I really didn't get that a neglectful father who suddenly discovers he has paternal feelings is then to be considered "obsessive" rather than finally normal, even as she's about to leave the nest. His growing realization of his feelings is the best part of the film but a theme that all parents and grown children need to reconcile as adults-to-adults just drifts off.

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