Keeping Mum

Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, Patrick Swayze
Director: Niall Johnson

This is one of those clever films that will appeal to adults and kids alike. In fact I can’t think of any audience that wouldn’t enjoy it.

Very blackly humorous, it stars the luminous Kristin Scott Thomas as Gloria, a bored, fed-up vicar’s wife who even her own daughter can see is “not getting any.” She huffs around the house swearing like a trooper and, unable to resolve any of the family’s troubles and leaden with defeat, embarks on an affair with Patrick Swayze’s sleazy golf instructor Lance.

Meanwhile 17 year-old daughter Holly is rapidly working her way through all the guys in the area right outside their front door step, son Petey is being bullied at school, and Gloria’s husband Walter, played by Rowan Atkinson, is a vicar all too preoccupied with his calling to God to notice that anything else exists.

So it seems like a true Godsend when Dame Maggie Smith troops in as Grace Hawkins, the new housekeeper. Things sure seem different with Grace around as she one by one seems to put the family’s troubles right – but at what cost?

The performances in this film are as perfectly rounded as doughnuts. Rowan Atkinson doesn’t attempt to stretch his rubbery face once and is so much the better for it. Scott Thomas brings spikiness and verve to the role of Gloria unimaginable with any other actress around today . Smith is a delight and Patrick Swayze in another brave role will make you feel sick in this. Although his still incredible body more than makes up for it.

A dark comic delight.

5 out of 6 stars

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