Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson), the vicar for the small English country parish of Little Wallop, has allowed his marriage to Gloria (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas) go stale, and he is so detached from his family, that he has not taken notice that his seventeen-year-old daughter Holly (Tamsin Egerton) is going through a succession of relationships with unsuitable boyfriends, and his son Petey (Toby Parkes) fears going to school, owing to being bullied. Out of desperation for affection, Gloria begins to fall for the advances of Lance (Patrick Swayze), an American golf pro who is giving her "private" lessons. The problems upsetting the family start to fade away after Grace Hawkins (Dame Maggie Smith), the new housekeeper, arrives and starts tending to matters as an older, and rather darkly mysterious version of Mary Poppins (1964).Written by
I had to wait quite a while before I could show Keeping Mum at the Century Theatre in Coalville, Leicestershire. Being on the non-theatrical circuit, it's always a slow process obtaining films released by Entertainment Films. However, I had a feeling this British comedy would appeal to our mature audience (including myself!). I was right, a very popular choice...and it was worth the wait. To be honest, anything featuring Maggie Smith or Judi Dench can't fail at the Century and, as expected, Maggie steals the show as usual in this picture, with a very restrained but humorous portrayal of the mysterious new housekeeper to pastor Rowan Atkinson and his errant family. Atkinson also does well, underplaying nicely in his role, but typically funny in the village soccer match. Also, a very emotional scene when he delivers his speech at the conference. I certainly won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen this very dark comedy but I will say, don't miss the very start of the film, as this is obviously of great importance to what follows. Another Brit success!
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