Worth A Look: 54.55%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%
2 reviews, 10 user ratings
by Chris Parry
This film, generally overlooked by most, perhaps for it's boring title and period piece premise, is a pretty decent way to spend a few hours of your life.Centering around a Jewish girl by the name of Rosina (the seldom shamed Minnie Driver), struggling to deal with her position as a teenage Jewess in Gentile-heavy 1840's London, The Governess could uite easily have fallen into the "historically-accurate, but boring" trap of most period pieces.
"Minnie Driver buck naked. Thought that might get your attention."
Let's be honest, it sounds like boring crap.
That was my initial impression and I could see the same trepidation on the faces of other reviewers going in.
But the fact is, this movie doesn't bite.
Driver, as per usual, brings a heapin' helpin' of her personality to her role. In a time and place where being a Jew meant being held beneath contempt by the rest of society, Rosina decides to pretend to be a Catholic Governess in order to keep her family from the street. Tom Wilkinson (the old geezer from Full Monty, but dont hold that against him) plays a scientist who employs Rosina to teach his child at his mansion on a secluded Scottish Island. Surprise, surprise, he falls for her and the family is thrown into turmoil.
What's remarkable about this movie can be put down to two things. Costumes (which are amazing, even to a guy) and direction. First time feature director, Sandra Goldbacher, really has outstanding talent. Some of the shots are almost too good and take your mind off the story at hand.
The costumer seems to have a predilection with leather and/or PVC and had Driver looking at her best throughout.
The cast is standout. Tom Wilkinson really outshines his Full Monty breakout role and shows he has acting talent (and a pecker), Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays his son, who is also in lovge with Rosina and doesn't disappoint (until he comes stumbling naked out of the ocean... the shrinkage would have a few people disappointed I'd bet). You'll be seeing a lot of him in the next few years. He's one of the chosen ones.
This is a British production in the extreme and they've borrowed heavily from the theatrical casting books. The supporting roles seem to be filled with people who project when they speak, but it works.
And yes, I know you've been waiting to hear it.
Minnie get's buff. It must be said that Minnie is written and played very modern. For an 1840's religious teenage girl that's never seen a dick before, she's sure in a hurry to get her kecks off. While Minnie leave little to the imagination (nip alert), on a purely voyeuristic basis this movie has more for those who like to look at schlongs than it does for breast fans.
But skin aside, the story is reasonably well written, not too boring, perhaps a bit screamy at the end, wonderfully shot and not without humor.
It looks good, runs well, entertains, but it's not going to change your life. The message is somewhat lost amongst the bonking and a rushed ending.One for mom on a Saturday when the kids are out.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=233&reviewer=1
originally posted: 11/01/98 01:41:27