I have tried to limit this list to proper period dramas (no animated features or alternate histories) and arrange them…
Every family has its own language
Set at the end of the 1960s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from United Kingdom, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, till he's 14. The film is largely based on Richard E. Grant's own experiences as a teenager in Swaziland, where his father was head of education for the British government administration.
Well, this is what happens when you let actors direct movies: Good actors in a poor movie. I found Wah-Wah more serious and depressing than the strange title and bright promotional images of smiling faces might lead one to believe. Not one of the worst movies I've ever seen by any means, but I found it rather unsatisfying.
Its title is also unbelievably terrible!
This is Richard E. Grant’s autobiographical tale of his early years in Swaziland in southern Africa. He's writer and director on this, and comes up with a good film in his debut, with a story that could quite easily been handled badly.
The kid from ABOUT A BOY plays Grant in his younger years, who struggles with his alcoholic father (a great performance from Gabriel Byrne) and his mother who ditches them (Miranda Richardson). Emily Watson joins the cast when the father falls for her, and the ever reliable Julie Walters has a nice little role as a woman bitter since it was Byrne’s ex-wife that ran off with her husband.
It really looked like a boring film, but wasn't.…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Unbelievably devastating. Very nicely done but I shan't be able to watch it again. A lifetime worth of loss compressed into 90 minutes. The journey from Gabriel Byrne's charming wink and a smile in dress-whites to a Union Jack draped coffin is too painful.
Here's a coming-of-age drama from actor Richard E. Grant, who based it on his own childhood in Africa. It offers fantastic performances from Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson, and Nicholas Hoult (the kid from About a Boy). It's not an important picture, just a tiny movie about life on the edge of the British empire.
I had never heard of it, before I happened to notice it on TV. I only chose to watch it, because it's got such a fantastic cast. I wasn't disappointed. What a great movie!
Set in 1960's Swaziland, the time frame and place are already interesting. It has also got a great script. The story is very tense, the dialogue flows easily. Young Nicholas Hoult does a fantastic role, so does Gabriel Byrne. These two are the heart and soul of the movie. Emily Watson is always a pleasure to see. All other actors fit their roles very well, too.
The movie deals with difficult subject: a traumatic divorce, feelings of abandonment, loyalty to parents and being able to rise above difficulties. It is both heart breaking and heart warming, it is beautiful, tragic, funny, touching and sad at the same time. Very recommendable.
Great little semi- autobiographical film from Richard E. Grant. The entire cast give brilliant performances.
Richard E. Grant makes a fine directorial debut with this classy semi autobiographical drama.
Taken from Den of Geeks run of underappreciated films from the 00's