Ralph witnesses the disintegration of his parents' marriage through adultery and alcohol during the last gasp of the British Empire in Swaziland in 1969. Ralph finds his new step-mother is the only one who understands his inner turmoil.
Set at the end of the 1960s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, this movie follows the young Ralph Compton (Zac Fox), at eleven, through his parents' traumatic separation, till he's fourteen (played by Nicholas Hoult). It was written and directed by Richard E. Grant, and based on true events from Grant's childhood.
According to Writer and Director Richard E. Grant's diaries, the part of the father was meant to be younger, but all of the actors that were asked in that age range passed, so an older actor was chosen. See more »
The movie supposedly starts in 1969 with the date appearing on the screen. Yet Swaziland received independence on 6 September 1968. See more »
Truly fantastic movie. I went to the world premiere last night at Edinburgh Film Festival and was blown away. As much as I like Richard E. Grant, I must confess that I was expecting a rather indulgent art-house auto-biopic. Instead, what we got was a brilliant, superbly paced, wonderfully entertaining feature film that held the audience to the last scene. The first 10 minutes are a little slow, but from then on Grant never puts a foot wrong.
"Wah-Wah" has the right blend of comic situations, gritty family conflict, stunning African scenery and caricatures of latter-day British imperial pretensions to entertain, engage and amaze.
Nicholas Hoult shows that the intensity and charisma evidenced in "About A Boy" were no childhood fluke, while Gabriel Byrne brings a perfect mix of menace and charm to encapsulate the contradictions of Grant's father figure. Special kudos goes to Emily Watson, whose on-screen presence is radiant and lively, rather akin to Rachel Griffiths in "Six Feet Under".
With an assured debut like this, Grant should soon be able to give up those wretched Argos ads for good!
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