Keeping Mum

Film, Comedy

Time Out says

A would-be black comedy in a rural British setting, this sees vicar Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson, of course) employing a housekeeper, Grace (Maggie Smith), who just happens to be a released murderer. Equally unimaginative casting comes in the form of Kristin Scott Thomas as a foul-mouthed, frustrated wife and Patrick Swayze as a pervy American golf pro who gets the village ladies in a spin. Grace sets about solving the Rev Goodfellow’s family problems in her own unique style while the family engage in farcical sitcom banter (sometimes funny, sometimes not). It’s like dumping a serial killer into a very, very long episode of ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ and expecting it to work: there’s no artful black comedy here, just an uncomfortable clash between broad provincial humour and a murder plotline. The central cast are up to the job: Smith deadpans delightfully when she can, and Atkinson upgrades his bumbling ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ performance to mildly amusing effect. But despite its genial characters, ‘Keeping Mum’ is an undisciplined, ultimately unsuccessful experiment in British black comedy.



Release details

Release date:
Friday December 2 2005
103 mins

Cast and crew

Niall Johnson
Rowan Atkinson
Kristin Scott Thomas
Maggie Smith
Patrick Swayze
Emilia Fox
Liz Smith
Tamsin Egerton
James Booth
Toby Parkes
Jack Ryan