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The Governess (1998) - movie overview

The Governess (1998)

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Plot Description

Release Date
 USA: Jul 31, 1998
DVD Release Date
 R1: Feb 16, 1999
 R2: 26 Feb 2001

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 55 minutes

Country UK

Studio Arts Council of England, BBC, British Screen, Pandora Film, Parallax Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics

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Other Titles
• The Governess

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Genre: Romance, Drama, Period Piece, Deception, Prostitution, Society, Infidelity, Murder

Plot: In 1840s London, Rosina's beloved father is killed, so she must take a job in order to keep her deeply religious Jewish family afloat. Choosing the new name of Mary Blackchurch, she accepts a job as a governess to a wealthy gentile family in Scotland. Her responsibility is to be the friend and teacher of the Cavendishes' young daughter, Clementina, a mean-spirited, spoiled child. Mary is much more interested in the work being done by Mr. Cavendish as he attempts to perfect an early form of photography. But working closely in the laboratory soon releases feelings that change their very different worlds.

Sandra Goldbacher's debut feature film is steeped in religious overtones as Mary-Rosina struggles to maintain--and hide--her Jewish identity. Minnie Driver is excellent as Rosina, her round face almost glowing amid the deep, muted tones of Sarah Greenwood's sets. Tom Wilkinson is superb as Charles Cavendish, trying desperately to hold back his feelings, unable to break free of the repressed society that dominates him. As Charles becomes obsessed with the technical aspects of his work, Mary tries to show him the beauty that his work can create, ultimately leading to an emotional confrontation for which neither is prepared.

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 Directed by
Sandra Goldbacher
Me Without You
 Written by
Sandra Goldbacher
Me Without You
Minnie Driver
Good Will Hunting, South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut, GoldenEye
Tom Wilkinson
Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shakespeare in Love
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers
Alexander, Mission: Impossible III, Bend It Like Beckham
Harriet Walter
Sense and Sensibility, Onegin, Bedrooms and Hallways
Florence Hoath
FairyTale: A True Story, Innocent Lies, Tom's Midnight Garden
Arlene Cockburn
The Winter Guest, Tom's Midnight Garden
 Music By
Ed Shearmur
Charlie's Angels, Cruel Intentions, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

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