6.9/10
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52 user 46 critic

Wah-Wah (2005)

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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 »

Director:

Richard E. Grant
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Byrne ... Harry Compton
Emily Watson ... Ruby Compton
Julie Walters ... Gwen Traherne
Nicholas Hoult ... Ralph Compton - 14 years
Miranda Richardson ... Lauren Compton
Zac Fox ... Ralph Compton - 11 years old
Celia Imrie ... Lady Riva Hardwick
Julian Wadham ... Charles Bingham
Fenella Woolgar ... June Broughton
John Matshikiza ... Dr. Zim Mzimba
Sid Mitchell Sid Mitchell ... Vernon
John Carlisle John Carlisle ... Sir Gifford Hardwick
Mathokoza Sibiya Mathokoza Sibiya ... Dozen
Sindisiswe Nxumalo Sindisiswe Nxumalo ... Regina
Michael Richard 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:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | South Africa

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 June 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Conquista da Liberdade See more »

Filming Locations:

Swaziland

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£46,159 (United Kingdom), 4 June 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,304, 14 May 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$233,103, 25 June 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was written, Richard E. Grant wanted "Ralph" to be played by two boys, something the casting director was initially against. However, during the audition process Zac Fox and Nicholas Hoult were thought to be perfect and as they looked different ages, they were both cast. 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

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

Connections

References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

C'est Moi
from "Camelot"
Written by Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly fantastic movie: brilliant pacing, excellent performances, quality cast.
18 August 2005 | by wangopSee all my reviews

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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