Keeping Mum

"Bad"

Keeping Mum Review


With the fall season comes the expected push of European comedies and quirky family melodramas and 2006, no particularly special year, has its own bounty on the horizon. The first of the batch, preceding Confetti and Driving Lessons, is Keeping Mum, a slightly raunchier take on Mary Poppins, with the elder Poppins being played by none other than the great Maggie Smith. As with most films, there's a tiny twist.

The Goodfellow family has problems. The father, Reverend Walter Goodfellow (an exhaustingly unfunny Rowan Atkinson) seems to be at the beck and call of an elderly parishioner who is in need of constant companionship. This leaves his wife, Gloria (Kristin Scott Thomas), sexually frustrated and constantly without her husband to solve it. She also has a daughter (Tamsin Egerton) who has a knack for making vans rock and a son (Toby Parkes) who can't stand up to a gang of bicycle riding twerps.

Enter Mrs. Hawkins (Smith), a nanny and housekeeper with a sunny disposition and an odd sense of humor. The minute she enters their lives, things begin to get better: the yapping dog across the way shuts up and disappears, Toby finds that by simply saying the word 'broccoli' the brakes on the bikes of the gang go out, and Gloria's lover, Lance (Patrick Swayze, doing that sleazy thing), stops videotaping her daughter changing in the window. Suspiciously, these nuisances tend to be sorted out with violence and, in some cases, homicide. There's no way Mrs. Hawkins could be responsible. No bloody way, right?

Adapted from a Richard Russo story (to think the man behind Empire Falls is also behind this rubbish), Keeping Mum seems to be apt for that family who wants just that little hint of darkness in their Saturday night/post-church Sunday morning movie. It's a tease, and for the most part, a total sham. The supposed Mary Poppins-cum-Serial Mom tendencies don't help the fact that we still know that everything will be solved. If you've seen Sinbad solve Phil Hartman's problems, Maggie Smith solving Kristin Scott Thomas's isn't exactly new hat. Furthermore, the darkness and the murders have no real consequences, nor do they ever have any specific use besides trying to make the film darker.

Maggie Smith tends to be acceptable in anything she does, and this is no exception. Her delivery and simple presence polishes up the film just a little bit. Besides that, the entire film, including Gavin Finney's insufferably drab cinematography and Dickon Hinchliffe's abhorrently sweet score, seems to be shrouded in a veil of utter boredom. Do yourself a favor: save some money, go to England, and see the good British films that are coming out next year at this time. Or, I guess, you could go to a museum or something.

What say we all go to the road house?



Keeping Mum

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 2nd December 2005

Box Office USA: $1.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $18.6M

Distributed by: ThinkFilm

Production compaines: Summit Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Fresh: 48 Rotten: 38

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Matthew Payne, Julia Palau

Starring: as Reverend Walter Goodfellow, as Gloria Goodfellow, as Grace Hawkins, as Lance, Terry Alderton as TV Chat Show Presenter, as Holly Goodfellow, Toby Parkes as Petey Goodfellow, as Mrs. Parker, as Rosie Jones, as Mr. Brown

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.