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      Keeping Mum

      R 2006 1 hr. 43 min. Comedy List
      57% 90 Reviews Tomatometer 73% 10,000+ Ratings Audience Score Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson), vicar of the British village Little Wallop, is busy composing the perfect sermon. So busy, in fact, that he fails to notice his bored wife's (Kristin Scott Thomas) flirtation with her American golf instructor (Patrick Swayze), his daughter's revolving set of boyfriends, or his son's status as the favorite target of bullies. Enter Grace Hawkins (Maggie Smith), the new housekeeper, who has a drastic solution to the family's problems. Read More Read Less
      Keeping Mum

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      Critics Consensus

      The stellar cast, including Kristin Scott Thomas and Dame Maggie Smith, is certainly an asset, but this black comedy is too uneven.

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      Audience Reviews

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      steve d Not remotely fun or interesting. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review celine m Can't think of a better combination than Rowan Atkinson and Maggie Smith. Absolutely hilarious. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review dave s Kristin Scott Thomas and Rowan Atkinson star as the parents of the Goodfellow family, a typical nuclear family living in an English village and trying to come to terms with a variety of family issues. When Grace (Maggie Smith), a woman with a murderous past, shows up as the new housekeeper, the problems experienced by the family mysteriously and permanently disappear. Keeping Mum is filled with black comedy, the majority of it very effective thanks to a clever script and sound performances from the three lead actors. Despite a music score that sounds like it from a sitcom and the fact that it feels like it's slipping into slapstick towards the end, it's a pretty enjoyable film with a surprising and enjoyable twist in the final act. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Very good: Plot, Acting and Characters, Score, Pace, Dialogue. Good: Themes and Tones, Direction, Produciton Design, Special Effects, Editng. Fair: Cinematography. Poor: x Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Audience Member A family that's lost its spark gets a new housekeeper, and she's got a history! The humor is delightfully witty, as it should be from a British movie, and the acting is a bit understated, which is a good thing! Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Audience Member *Spoilers ahead* Watched this over Christmas and New Year with the family. Some funny parts throughout but ultimately a middle-of-the-road British comedy. For a little-known British comedy, the cast is excellent. Rowan Atkinson is an undeniable comedic genius and plays Reverend Goodfellow with the right amount of uncertainty and bumble we are so used to seeing from him. As his character starts to turn to humour in his sermons (many jokes taken from the aptly named website 'God Jokes'), his enthusiasm for life increases tenfold, leading to an injection of spice into his previously sexless marriage His sex-starved wife, Gloria, played by the always excellent Kristen Scott Thomas, is the star of the show. She effortlessly blends together wittiness and exasperation, be it at her husband for the lack of intimacy or at her sex-crazed, rebellious daughter (played well by Tamsin Egerton) for the litany of unsuitable boyfriends she brings to their home. She is responsible for the funniest part of the film as well. As Gloria prepares to finally sleep with her greasy, orange, muscular golf instructor Lance (Patrick Swayze), after weeks of sexual tension, she is mortified when he reveals a large burgundy jock strap. Her reaction is as British as you could get. A very humourous scene. Grace (Maggie Smith), the mysterious housekeeper with the big secret, disappoints for me. Maybe it just was not different enough to a standard Maggie Smith performance (I know I'm in the minority here). Her mischievousness is fun, but her punishments are very disproportionate to the "crimes" committed by those in Little Wallop and I know it's fiction, but would you not conduct any sort of check on a housekeeper that is going to look after your two under-18 children? Even a pretty good look at a CV? Pretty shoddy due diligence if you ask me. I also find Swayze's performance to be quite cliched. This is not his fault, he's asked to basically accentuate all the stereotypical traits that people do not like about America (seen with his vanity, overly white teeth, overly loquaciousness, arrogance). To be fair to Swayze, I do find that American movies do the the same with Brits (why is every Brit obscenely posh?) He's not unfunny, but I felt he could have been a little less sterotypical. There could have been more scenes with the Goodfellow family all together, especially with Rowan Atkinson and Tamsin Egerton, I feel like their relationship dynamic was not explored enough and this could have led to some pretty funny scenes. Overall, a decent film that's inoffensive enough to please all members of the family, but is firmly planted in the lower echelons of British comedy. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

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      Critics Reviews

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      J. R. Jones Chicago Reader Johnson struggles to find the proper tone: the serial murders aren’t horrible enough to be funny, and the characters don’t respond as if they’re horrible at all. As a result the black humor thins into gray fog. Jun 23, 2022 Full Review Marc Savlov Austin Chronicle The Ealing of yore is gone, and Guiness, ex-ladykiller, is now and forever, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Here's mud in your eye. Rated: 2/5 Oct 30, 2006 Full Review Randy Cordova Arizona Republic A dark comedy that isn't dark or particularly funny, Keeping Mum ends up being an exercise in heavy-handed whimsy. Rated: 2.5/5 Oct 26, 2006 Full Review Kat Halstead Common Sense Media It's slight but charming, and fun in places, with the veteran actors just managing to keep the undisciplined screenplay on track until the grisly end. Rated: 3/5 May 5, 2021 Full Review Simon Weaving Screenwize Don't expect Rowan Atkinson in full Bean or Blackadder flight: this is much more delicate Country Life comeuppance at the hands of a deliciously dark fairy godmother. Rated: 3.5/5 Jul 30, 2009 Full Review Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com Rowan Atkinson ("Mr. Bean") plays straight-man Reverend Walter Goodfellow to Grace Hawkins (acted with keen wit by Maggie Smith) his genteel serial-killer housekeeper in this delicious British black comedy. Rated: B+ Apr 20, 2009 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson), vicar of the British village Little Wallop, is busy composing the perfect sermon. So busy, in fact, that he fails to notice his bored wife's (Kristin Scott Thomas) flirtation with her American golf instructor (Patrick Swayze), his daughter's revolving set of boyfriends, or his son's status as the favorite target of bullies. Enter Grace Hawkins (Maggie Smith), the new housekeeper, who has a drastic solution to the family's problems.
      Director
      Niall Johnson
      Executive Producer
      Steve Wilkinson, Anne Sheehan, Steve Christian, Marc Samuelson
      Screenwriter
      Richard Russo, Niall Johnson
      Production Co
      Summit Entertainment, Tusk, Isle of Man Film
      Rating
      R (Some Sexual Content/Nudity|Language)
      Genre
      Comedy
      Original Language
      English (United Kingdom)
      Rerelease Date (Theaters)
      Sep 15, 2006
      Release Date (DVD)
      Feb 20, 2007
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $1.6M
      Sound Mix
      Dolby Digital