The Governess

Watch The Governess

  • R
  • 1998
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 6.2  (3,148)
  • 60

The Governess is a British period drama film from 1998, directed by Sandra Goldbacher. The movie is set in the 19th century and tells the story of a Jewish woman named Rosina da Silva, played by Minnie Driver, who is forced to flee her home in London due to her family's financial troubles. In search of a new life, Rosina manages to secure a job as a governess in a wealthy Scottish family's estate, despite her lack of experience and qualifications.

The family she begins to work for is the Cavendish family, which consists of the stern patriarch Charles Cavendish, played by Tom Wilkinson, his wife and their four children. Being the only Jew amongst Christian employers, Rosina, despite her intelligence and quick wit, faces a lot of challenges in her new role. She is forced to deal with the prejudices, biases and superiority complex that her employers have against her religion.

Despite the challenges, Rosina quickly establishes a special bond with the two eldest children, Clementina and Ewan. As she gets to know them better, she realizes that their mother, who is suffering from a serious illness, is too weak to provide them with the attention and affection they require. In her role as governess, Rosina takes things into her own hands and starts to act as both a mother and mentor to the children, teaching them about art, history, and science, and igniting their curiosity.

The story takes a turn when Charles, the patriarch of the Cavendish family, begins to show an interest in Rosina beyond her job as a governess. Feeling conflicted between her growing love for Charles and the traditions of her Jewish faith, Rosina is unsure what she wants or where her loyalties lie. Things become more complicated when Rosina makes a discovery about Charles's true identity, a secret which puts her position in the family and her entire life in the estate in danger.

Throughout the movie, The Governess explores themes related to identity, individual challenges, overcoming obstacles, prejudice, and the power of knowledge. The film's central character, Rosina da Silva, embodies these themes as she navigates her new life and overcomes the challenges of being an outsider in a foreign land. The Governess depicts how the pursuit of knowledge can break down social and cultural barriers and build a bridge between people of different backgrounds.

Minnie Driver delivers an extraordinary performance as Rosina, showcasing her versatility as an actress. Her character goes from being the timid outsider to a confident mentor and mother figure to the children. Tom Wilkinson, as Charles, captures the audience with his convincing portrayal of a man struggling with both his identity and his desire for Rosina, delicately balancing the sympathetic and the villainous aspects of his character. Florence Hoath, who plays Clementina, and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who plays Ewan, offer impressive performances, portraying convincingly their characters' growth under Rosina's guidance.

The film's stunning cinematography, costume design, and overall production value transcend the screen, successfully bringing to life the 19th-century setting and atmosphere. The Governess manages to blend classical storytelling with contemporary themes and ultimately delivers an emotional and thought-provoking movie experience.

In conclusion, The Governess is a captivating period drama that explores themes related to identity, individual struggles, prejudice, and the pursuit of knowledge. With a talented cast, beautiful cinematography, and stunning production design, the film successfully tells a compelling story that resonates with audiences until today. If you enjoy historical dramas with strong performances, then The Governess is a must-see.

The Governess is a 1998 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 60.

The Governess
Where to Watch The Governess
The Governess is available to watch, stream, download and buy, rent on demand at Amazon Prime, Vudu, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent The Governess for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (3,148)
  • Metascore