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as Harry Compton
as Lauren Compton
as Ralph Compton
as Ruby Compton
as Gwen Traherne
as Lady Riva Hardwick
as June Broughton
as Charles Bingham
as June Boughton
as Young Ralph Compton
as John Traherne
as Dr. Zim Mzimba
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Critic Reviews for Wah-Wah
I admired the movie and was happy to see it but can think of two other films about whites in Africa that do a better job of seeing their roles.
Watching it is like trying to assemble a puzzle that's missing pieces: You can see the outline of a story, and some shapes fit neatly together, but there are undeniable holes.
Deftly balancing the end of British colonialism in Africa against a family's painful disintegration, Wah-Wah marks the impressive directing debut of Richard E. Grant.
The actors give it a spark, and Grant directs his fine cast with sureness.
What is understandably a subject of great fascination to [Grant] soon becomes a crashing bore to us.
Audience Reviews for Wah-Wah
Sentimental and well meaning, the first writing/directing credit for Richard E.Grant (a favorite actor of mine) and auto-biographical as well. The damned Brits are losing their very last colonial holding as those that do the actual work of holding party like its the end of the world.
Cast: Gabriel Byrne, Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson, Nicholas Hoult, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Michael Richards, Julian Wadham, Fenella Woolgar, Ian Roberts
Director: Richard E. Grant
Summary: In his directing debut, Richard E. Grant dishes up a slice of his Swaziland boyhood. As the sun sets on Britain's colony, young Ralph Compton (played by Zachary Fox and later Nicholas Hoult) catches his mom, Lauren (Miranda Richardson), in a compromising position -- sending his dad, Harry (Gabriel Byrne), crawling into a bottle. The couple divorces and Harry remarries, but just as Ralph warms to his stepmom, Lauren turns up to reclaim her family.
My Thoughts: "This semi-autobiographical story set in his birthplace of Swaziland is a raw and honest look into the life of Richard E. Grant as a boy dealing with the separation of his parents and his father's habit with alcohol. The movie gives you an honest look at what it's like to live with an alcoholic and how it affects the family. You feel a lot of sympathy for Ralph as you witness with him the separation of his parents and his father's downfall with alcohol. His step-mom Ruby brings some light to his dark world. The film is listed as a comedy, and although there are some funny parts, I would label this as more a dark drama. The film is filled with very interesting character's that really make the film great. With a great story, acting, and direction, it makes this film one to see."
A wonderfully strong ensemble, the story however, is quite complex. There was just too many things that happened, perhaps Richard Grant just threw in a bit too much in this? I loved the mini pockets of treats they placed in the movie though, (Clips from The Clockwork Orange & the mini screenplay practices of Camelot).
The story is almost made to get you into a "steady emotional wave", from calm to heart piercing and to heart warming and back again.
Plot: "Set during the last gasp of the British Empire in Swaziland, South East Africa, in 1969, the plot focuses on the dysfunctional Compton family whose gradual disintegration mirrors the end of British rule."
Starring Gabriel Byrne, Miranda Richardson, Julie Walters, Emily Watson, and Nicholas Hoult (the kid in 'About a boy'). --- "Wah-Wah is loosely based on Richard Grants (the Directors) own childhood experiences..." or so he says.
Side-comment: Perhaps this is a film thats not for everyones liking. I liked it though
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