The Governess (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Governess (1998)

The Governess (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Governess Photos

Movie Info

London TV commercials director Sandra Goldbacher made her feature directorial debut with this early Victorian England drama filmed on the Isle of Arran. In London, Rosina Da Silva (Minnie Driver) is shaken by the murder of her father, a wealthy Jewish merchant. To deal with family debts, Rosina places a classified ad in a local newspaper and gets a job as a nanny with a gentile family in Scotland. Adopting the name Mary Blackchurch and posing as a gentile, she joins the dysfunctional Cavendish family, caring for young Clementina (Florence Hoath) and fending off the advances of teen Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers). Head of the household is philologist and inventor Charles Cavendish (Tom Wilkinson), and when she gives Charles an assist on his photographic experiments, an affair develops. The music score features Eastern percussion backing singer Ofra Haza. Shown at the 1998 Seattle Film Festival.

Watch it now


Minnie Driver
as Rosina da Silva
Tom Wilkinson
as Mr. Charles Cavendish
Harriet Walter
as Mrs. Cavendish
Florence Hoath
as Clementina Cavendish
Bruce Myers
as Rosina's Father
Emma Bird
as Becca
Arlene Cockburn
as Lily Milk
Adam Levy
as Benjamin
Diana Brooks
as Rosina's Mother
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
as Henry Cavendish
as Leonora
Kendal Cramer
as Young Rosina
Ralph Riach
as Mr. Hewlett
Joe Bromley
as Prostitute
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Governess

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (7)

If Jane Austen or a Brontë sister were inclined to revolve their tale of forbidden love and parlor room intrigue around a Jewish heroine, The Governess would undoubtedly resemble the result.

July 15, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A beautifully crafted drama set in England during the 1840s about feminine intuition, creativity, and passion.

March 3, 2002 | Full Review…

A heavy going but at times embroiling drama.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Goldbacher, in her first feature, has tied together many ideas about photography, dreams and love, and presented them both fairly and exquisitely.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

for sheer visual elegance, 'The Governess' has few equals, and the magnificence of its imagery more than compensates for its somewhat overheated story.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Governess


A London bred jewess takes the job of governess for a gentile scientist's family on the Isle of Skye. Can Victorian scandal be far behind? Interesting tale with excellent performances, particularly by Driver and Wilkinson.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

There you go Minnie Driver. There is life after Matt Damon after all! Too bad we hardly see you anymore. The Governess was a good platform for you. Where did you jump?

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

The Governess Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Governess on our Movie forum!

News & Features