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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

Was the first film ever to be shot in Swaziland. 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

Lauren Compton: I'm not invisible, you know.
Lady Riva Hardwick: No, you're a divorcée, which is far worse.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Wah Wah in Swaziland (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
Written by Sholom Secunda, Jacob Jacobs, Saul Chaplin & Sammy Cahn
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Delightful, funny and very, very moving
17 August 2005 | by danieljcSee all my reviews

Richard E. Grant's mostly autobiographical film tells the story of a boy growing up in Swaziland amidst the end of British colonisation, his parents' harrowing divorce and his father's destructive alcoholism.

Before the film I was promised it would make me cry, laugh and be totally delighted with what I saw.

The tears come from some very moving moments between Ralph (Nicholas Hoult) and his father as they try to maintain a relationship despite his father's drinking problems, depicted by a very frightening and convincing Gabriel Byrne. Ralph's struggle to accept his father's new wife, played by Emily Watson, also gives us a good dose of emotional moments, of which this film is certainly not short!

The laughter comes mostly from some moments of brilliantly over-the-top British snobbery and Emily Watson's spot-on mockery of it. Incidentally, this is what gives the film its title - "Wah-Wah" being her imitation of upper class speech.

And the delightfulness comes from everything about the film - a sentimental and touching story set amongst beautiful scenery, with a lovely score and stunning performances from all the cast. Having spent 5 years on this film, it is clearly very personal to Grant and it seems all that time was worth it. The promise was fulfilled - delight, laughter and tears.


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