Keeping Mum

Critics Consensus

The stellar cast, including Kristin Scott Thomas and Dame Maggie Smith, is certainly an asset, but this black comedy is too uneven.



Total Count: 87


Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,207
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Movie Info

Reverend Walter Goodfellow, a bumbling town vicar, lives with his wife Gloria and his two children (Holly who has a new boyfriend every week and Petey who is the whipping boy for the school bullies) in the small English town of Little Wallop. Gloria desperately tries to keep up appearances as the Vicar's wife but she's finding that her children and her hapless husband are just not enough for her any more, so she's planning to run off with Lance her American golf instructor. Totally confused with her life and sick of the barking dog next door, the nosey neighbor across the road, her sexless marriage and Lance's indiscretions -- she prays every night for salvation. Enter Grace, the answer to Gloria's prayers: a charming, discreet housekeeper (with a wicked secret) who has her own unique definition of keeping house -- and an unusual knack for problem solving


Rowan Atkinson
as Reverend Walter Goodfellow
Kristin Scott Thomas
as Gloria Goodfellow
Maggie Smith
as Grace Hawkins
Tamsin Egerton
as Holly Goodfellow
Toby Parkes
as Peter Goodfellow
Liz Smith
as Mrs. Parker
Emilia Fox
as Rosie Jones
James Booth
as Mr. Brown
Patrick Monckton
as Bob (Pond Workman)
Rowley Irlam
as Ted (Pond Workman)
Vivienne Moore
as Mrs. Martin
Murray McArthur
as Vicar's Convention Master of Ceremonies
Morgan Gower
as Reverend Campbell
Rupert Simonian
as Billy Martin the bully
Alex MacQueen
as Train Ticket Colllector
Paul Viragh
as Policeman on train
Anthony Denham
as Police Interrogator
Roger Hammond
as The Judge
Thomas D. Jones
as Mark, boyfriend 1
Jack Ryan
as David, boyfriend 2
Nazim Kourgli
as Grant The Goth, Boyfriend 3
Jack Zimmerman
as Jeremy Z, boyfriend 4
Terry Alderton
as TV Chat Show Presenter
David Schaal
as TV Chat Show Pundit
Chrissie Cotterill
as TV Chat Show Pundit
Rory Dorling
as Billy Martin's Gang
James Galloway
as Billy Martin's Gang
Max Murley
as Billy Martin's Gang
as Clarence the Dog
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Critic Reviews for Keeping Mum

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (31)

  • A dark comedy that isn't dark or particularly funny, Keeping Mum ends up being an exercise in heavy-handed whimsy.

    Oct 26, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • A meek little diversion, nothing more.

    Oct 20, 2006 | Rating: 2/5
  • A modest comedy that wants to be both dark and reassuring at the same time.

    Oct 13, 2006 | Rating: C+
  • Bracket out the ethical concerns of making merry as the body count mysteriously rises and Keeping Mum is an endearing hoot.

    Oct 13, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • It's probably one of the funniest films to come out of England in years.

    Oct 9, 2006
  • Cheerfully black-hearted and unfailingly amusing.

    Oct 5, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Keeping Mum

  • Nov 06, 2013
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2010
    stars Kristen Scott Thomas is the pivotal element of this dark comedy. In concert with Thomas crisis each of the other family members is having there own issues. Enter Maggie Smith is the sweet elderly Nanny, except she really Thomas’ long lost mother. Long lost because she’s spent most of her life in a mental hospital for murder. Thomas is having a midlife crisis and an affair with Patrick Swaze. Swaze is an American tennis instructor who sticks out in very British comedy. In concert with Thomas crisis the rest of the family is also in crisis. Rowan Atkins is a too soft spoken Vicker. Thomas’ daughter is a nymphomaniac and there son is a wimp troubled by bullies at school. Maggie Smith resolves the family via quiet conversations or just eliminating any threat to her newly re-found family’s happiness.
    Bill C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2010
    A macabre tale of a family in trouble that gets an assist from an unlikely source: their newly hired, crazy as a loon, housekeeper, played with a devilish twinkle by the incomparable Maggie Smith. Rowan Atkinson, Kristin Scott Thomas. and Patrick Swayze each are perfectly cast and kept the chuckles coming. Emilia Fox was gorgeous as the good reverend's daughter. The story held few surprises and stretched the boundaries of believability, but was very entertaining in spite of that. It was just plain fun to watch the body count rise, and to wonder who would be next. Devilishly good fun!
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2010
    <i>Oh my. Aren't you a busy bee? </i> <br> A complete blast. It was amusing to see Professor Minerva McGonagall (or at least, the actress who plays her) as a cold-blooded killer who calmly disposes of people who hurt her and the people she loves. Gloria Goodfellow (Scott Thomas) is experiencing quite a life. Her husband, Walter (Atkinson) is the reverend in their sleepy little village, her neighbor's dog keeps giving her hell every morning with his incessant barking, her daughter Holly (Egerton) is having sex with different boys, and her sex life seems nonexistent. Furthermore, she's having an affair with her golf instructor, Lance (Swayze). Things couldn't look any bleaker - until their assigned housekeeper, Grace Hawkins (Smith) arrives and turns Gloria's life and the lives of her family members topsy turvy. Years ago, a young woman known as Rosie Jones (Fox) was arrested for killing her husband and the woman he was having an affair with. So what's the connection? Well, you'd better watch this film to find out. :p Loved the comedy and dark humour in this film. It was subtly hilarious, that you had to find the punchlines in the dialogue. Smith and Scott Thomas certainly hammed it up, and I was thrilled to see that Atkinson was still funny in his own way. Twas a nice surprise to see Swayze in the film as well, and he certainly lived up to his character. A few sex jokes knocked in, but I loved how Smith was able to rebuff some of them. Definitely a must see.

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