Wetherby (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wetherby (1985)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Because of a devastating emotional tragedy in her past, schoolteacher Jean Travers Vanessa Redgrave has never married. Throughout Wetherby, Jean's mind wanders from the present to the 1950s, when her lover was killed in Malaya (the younger Jean is played by Redgrave's daughter, Joelly Richardson). One evening, Jean invites a group of friends over for dinner. A young man named John Morgan (Tim McInnerny) also attends the dinner party. Jean assumes he was brought along by one of the couples, and the guests, in turn, believe he was invited by Jean -- in short, he is a total stranger who everyone assumes is a friend of someone else there. As the evening progresses, politics and social ills are discussed, and one of the couples takes turn sniping at each other, but otherwise, the evening ends on a pleasant note and the guests take their leave. The next day, a particularly lengthy and grueling flashback is triggered in Jean when the mysterious young man from the previous night returns to her home. Slowly but surely, we discover how the secrets of Vanessa's past may provide the answer to her guest's identity and actions. Director David Hare also wrote the prismatic screenplay of Wetherby.

Cast

Vanessa Redgrave
as Jean Travers
Ian Holm
as Stanley Pilborough
Judi Dench
as Marcia Pilborough
Marjorie Yates
as Verity Braithwaite
Tom Wilkinson
as Roger Braithwaite
Tim McInnerny
as John Morgan
Suzanna Hamilton
as Karen Creasy
Stuart Wilson
as Mike Langdon
Mike Kelly
as CID Policeman
Ted Beyer
as Police Sergeant
Joely Richardson
as Young Jean Travers
Robert Hines
as Jim Mortimer
Katy Behean
as Young Marcia
Bert King
as Mr. Mortimer
Paula Tilbrook
as Mrs. Mortimer
David Foreman
as Young Malay
Stephanie Noblett
as Suzie Bannerman
Richard Marris
as Sir Thomas
Norman Mills
as Drama Teacher
Vanessa Rosenthal
as Pretentious Parent
Trevor Lunn
as Pretentious Parent
Guy Nicholls
as Mr. Varley
Ian Bleasdale
as Neurotic Teacher
Peter Martin
as Helpful Parent
Penny Downie
as Chrissie
Brenda Hall
as Landlady
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Critic Reviews for Wetherby

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5)

The skill of Hare's approach is that he initially allows us to assume, via normal cinema techniques, that what we saw of the dinner party was the whole story.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Redgrave's performance is superb and she's ably supported by Holm, Dench, and Hamilton in particular.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Mr. Hare has assembled a superb cast, and its ensemble work is very fine.

May 20, 2003

A haunting film, because it dares to suggest that the death of the stranger is important to everyone it touches - because it forces them to decide how alive they really are.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

[An] arch, overstyled downer ...

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

There are more questions asked than answered in this movie, but the mental gymnastics are well worth the effort.

March 2, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wetherby

An interesting build up and retracing of the steps leading up to the tragedy. This film however suffers from dull hanging in periods of tepid dialogue and useless plot development. Partially saved by solid acting, it nonetheless is not particularly memorable.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

½

Exceptional cast in dark gloomy drama that moves at a glacial pace. The actors can't be faulted but it's a bit of a slog.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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