KEEPING MUM stars Rowan Atkinson as an absent-minded vicar of a rural parish who is so distracted by the pressures of his job that he fails to notice his wife?s (Kristin Scott Thomas) dalliance with her brash golf instruct... more »or (Patrick Swayze), his daughter?s parade of new boyfriends, and his young son?s regular trouncing by the school?s bullies. Enter their charming new housekeeper, Grace (Maggie Smith), the answer to the family?s prayers: a sweet old lady with her own distinctive definition of cleaning house ? and a very unusual way of solving problems.« less
Charlene C. (mccoffield) from SOUTHLAKE, TX Reviewed on 11/27/2015...
Excellent, very funny, and top-notch actors, especially Maggie Smith.
Miri R. from MARIETTA, GA Reviewed on 3/3/2015...
One of the funniest and most delightful movies I've ever seen. I enjoy it every time I watch it. Maggie Smith steals the show as she does in just about every movie she's in. A different kind of role for Kristen Scott Thomas who plays a very plain housewife. The language is very salty at times; this movie is not suitable for young viewers. Patrick Swayze is slimy and creepy, in my opinion miscast. I would have preferred someone with a negative persona for this role.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Best Homicidal Old Lady Movie Ever!
Adam Cole | Brisbane, Queensland Australia | 12/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is probably the most touching film about homicidal old ladies I have ever seen. Grace (Maggie Smith) is not your ordinary homicidal grandmother - she has a heart of gold. When she comes into the life of the Reverend of Little Wallop (Rowan Atkinson) she immediately takes a proprietorial interest in his family's wellbeing. Before long Grace is proactively sorting out a lot of family problems - the son's bullies, the daughter's awful boyfriends, the Reverend's lack of confidence and his wife's marital woes. At the same time, a number of people and animals that get in the way of Grace's plans start disappearing. She is so charmingly innocent and so completely well-intentioned that it is hard to hold her methods against her. In fact, I spent most of the film cheering for her. Grace is a very rare character indeed (the closest approximate I can think of is Angela from "Sleepaway Camp II & III" - possibly a younger variation of the same creature) and we need more like her.
The film is undoubtedly aided by an excellent cast. The central character, the reverend's frustrated wife Gloria, is played by the very convincing (not to mention attractive) Kristin Scott Thomas who effectively carries most of the film. Maggie Smith is adorable as the innocently-menacing Grace. Patrick Swayze is perfect as the hunky lothario/sleazoid pursuing both Gloria and her daughter. Jeez, he aged well, and I think he was perfect for this part (which is sort of a compliment). Given first billing despite performing in what was essentially a supporting role,is Rowan Atkinson in probably his most subdued role ever as the Reverend of Little Wallop. Don't let that deter you if you're a fan. He still manages to be hilarious without having to lift a finger and when he does go into full comedy mode he is marvellous. However, it is his performance as the absent-minded workaholic vicar who seems helpless in the face of his unravelling marriage that is both touching and believable and demonstrates acting capabilities I would not have expected of him.
In short, this is a very funny and sweet film that should not be missed."
"My husband totally lost his head over another woman..."
Gerard D. Launay | Berkeley, California | 02/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a delicious twist on Mary Poppins with Maggie Smith playing the "trunk killer"...that is she was sent to an institution because she was traveling with a trunk that carried the cut up remains of her philandering husband and his mistress.
Now she's back and doing housework for a minister's family in a small English town. Her approach to problems is to eliminate them...literally. How can you suspect such a charming, smiling, old lady?
As for the minister, our Maggie Smith has some suggestions...lighten up your sermons with religious jokes and spice up your personal life with a little sex. I loved the "reading" of the Song of Solomon in the movie...one of the best readings of King James selections that was moving and erotic.
This is good fun and a must for Maggie Smith fans."
R. Kyle | USA | 03/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Goodfellow family needs more than just a housekeeper. They need a miracle.
What they got was Grace.
When Grace (Maggie Smith) arrives, she finds Gloria (Scott Thomas) somewhere between an affair and going crazy. Golf Pro Lance (Swayze) is encouraging her to swing more than a club. Clarence, the little dog next door has been yelling nonstop for days and the deaf old man who owns him, can't hear and doesn't seem to care. Walter (Atkinson) her vicar husband, has forgotten there's romance in the "Bible" and he's so lost in his tending his congregation, he's even lost his sense of humor. Teenaged Polly (Egerton) is experimenting with sex--and not for the first time. Peter (Parkes) is getting beaten up by the school bullies.
Grace quickly sets to work setting things to rights. On the surface, she's quite an endearing old lady who soothes with a cup of tea and a magic word, but her methods run far deeper than that--just don't look in the nearby pond!
If you love British comedy, particularly the darker varieties thereof, you're going to enjoy "Keeping Mum." There's more than one surprise twist. Of particular interest is a golf lesson between Lance and Gloria just filled with double entendre."
A gentle comedy with a hint of the sinister
S. E. Kim | New York, NY | 02/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I absolutely adored this rather understated and very engaging British film. Everything was just so fun considering it's about a sweet little elderly lady who applies a slightly twisted sense of morality to help a family with domestic problems. The family is a bit of a mess. Kristin Scott Thomas is the backbone of the story. She's frustrated with her life, her daughter is a bit of wayward teenager, her son is being bullied and her husband played by Rowan Atkinson is a little boring and a little self-absorbed. In comes Maggie Smith who plays Grace Hawkins a grandmotherly type who exudes understanding and warmth with her own special brand of helpfulness. But then again, the way she deals with life's problems is questionable although effective - "You can't just kill people because you disapprove of them" to which Grace replies, "That's what my doctors kept saying. It was the one thing we could never agree on."
Everything from the dream cast to the clever writing to the charming music sets an overall tone of gentleness with a hint of the sinister. I particularly enjoyed the music and the locations. The music is soft and tender but at times, it also has an edge - exactly like the story. The film is beautifully shot with locations in Cornwall and the Isle of Man. I really liked the village - its normal and sweet setting is a perfect backdrop to Grace's not normal but still sweet mentality.
Black comedy is a tricky genre of film and the British do it well. If it's handled with too heavy a hand it can teeter between the uncomfortable and the painful. Here, the director, writers and actors handled it with just enough of a touch that this film is brilliantly endearing and you just can't help laughing at something you really shouldn't be laughing at. "
A bit predictable, but excellent nonetheless!
L Gontzes | Athens, Greece | 08/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A very pleasant surprise, Keeping Mum, is a dark comedy that brings to the screen the story an English family with quite a few problems, its members living their lives in the relative quiet of the countryside. Things take a turn for the better when the new housekeeper arrives... It is a film about human relations, hope and second chances, but most importantly about trust, love, and inner strength. Maggie Smith, Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patrick Swayze and the rest of the cast, have truly outdone themselves with their performances, which are outstanding to say the least! All the actors, without exceptions, give it their 100% and it really shows (the chemistry is AMAZING)! Very well written and very well presented, the movie is without a doubt one that can be watched over and over. The setting, the plot, the dialogues, the humor, and the music are all wonderful! In short, Keeping Mum is a movie definitely worth watching and one to seriously consider adding to your movie collection! "