Keeping Mum

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"Some family secrets are best kept...buried."
  • R
  • 2005
  • 1 hr 43 min
  • 6.8  (35,800)
  • 53

Keeping Mum is a 2005 British black comedy movie directed by Niall Johnson. The movie stars Rowan Atkinson as Walter Goodfellow, a hapless and bumbling vicar, Kristin Scott Thomas as his frustrated and unhappy wife Gloria, and Maggie Smith as the enigmatic and mysterious housekeeper Grace Hawkins. The movie opens with Walter being assigned to a new parish in the sleepy, idyllic English village of Little Wallop, hoping to bring some excitement to the locals with ideas of hosting a garden show. Walter remains absorbed in his work and pays no attention to his wife Gloria's unhappiness and their children's troubles.

As the family unravels, Grace arrives on the scene, a mild-mannered yet cunning housekeeper, who appears to solve their problems in unconventional ways. Grace's first victim is a lecherous and cocky golf instructor who is cheating on her student, Gloria, causing her to rethink her marital status. Grace's stern methods quickly get him to abandon his infidelity and return to his wife, saving Gloria's marriage.

Next up is Lance, the couple's teenage son, who is being bullied at school. Grace secretly teaches Lance the art of self-defense, using unconventional methods, and turns him into a tough, confident young man. Soon after, he confronts his bully, regaining his respect and pride, and the two boys become friends.

Moving on to Gloria's affair with her American lover, who is neglectful and disinterested in her life, Grace comes to her rescue again. She teaches Gloria how to make her lover jealous by acting cool and casual, which causes the man to confess his love to her, and eventually propose marriage.

As the plot thickens, we see that Grace has a not-so-secret past as a murderess, who uses her methods to discipline those who need to be taught a lesson in morality. Her past comes back to haunt her when it is revealed that she had poisoned her former husband and lover, who had been physically and mentally abusive to her fellow tenants.

With the climactic ending, the family bonds over their newfound confidence and happiness. The movie is a perfect blend of humor and darkness, with Maggie Smith stealing the show with her deadpan and wry humor. The film explores themes of love, infidelity, family dynamics, and morality in a fresh and engaging way. Keeping Mum is a must-watch classic for fans of British comedy and cinema.

Keeping Mum
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 43 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (35,800)
  • Metascore