6.9/10
2,806
53 user 38 critic

Wah-Wah (2005)

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Set at the end of the '60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard E. Grant
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gabriel Byrne ... Harry Compton
Emily Watson ... Ruby Compton
Julie Walters ... Gwen Traherne
Nicholas Hoult ... Ralph Compton - 14 years
Miranda Richardson ... Lauren Compton
Zac Fox ... Ralph Compton - 11 years old
Celia Imrie ... Lady Riva Hardwick
Julian Wadham ... Charles Bingham
Fenella Woolgar ... June Broughton
John Matshikiza ... Dr. Zim Mzimba
Sid Mitchell Sid Mitchell ... Vernon
John Carlisle John Carlisle ... Sir Gifford Hardwick
Mathokoza Sibiya Mathokoza Sibiya ... Dozen
Sindisiswe Nxumalo Sindisiswe Nxumalo ... Regina
Michael Richard Michael Richard ... Tobias
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Storyline

Set at the end of the '60s, as Swaziland is about to receive independence from Great Britain, the film follows the young Ralph Compton, at 12, through his parents' traumatic separation, till he's 14. It is written and directed by Richard E Grant, and based on true events from Richard E Grant's childhood. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every family has its own language.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [UK]

Country:

UK | France | South Africa

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 June 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Conquista da Liberdade See more »

Filming Locations:

Swaziland

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£46,159 (United Kingdom), 4 June 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$55,304, 14 May 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$233,103, 25 June 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rachel Weisz, Toni Collette, Meg Ryan and Emmanuelle Béart all turned down roles. See more »

Goofs

When Ralph comforts Ruby at the hospital, her dress starts slipping from her right shoulder. When the camera takes a close shot, the dress is up to her neck. See more »

Quotes

Harry Compton: I suppose you think this is all so bloody easy. Well, wake up. Just you wait until you lose everything. And I mean everything. Wife, position, future. The whole damn kit and caboodle. Come independence, we're all on the scrapheap. So wake up.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Wah Wah in Swaziland (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Written by Don Raye & Hugh Prince
Performed by The Andrews Sisters
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User Reviews

 
Saw premier of Wah-Wah at Edinburgh
19 August 2005 | by annie_hutchisonSee all my reviews

Saw Wah-Wah at the Edinburgh International Film Festival – this is a really wonderful film. The story is told from the point of view of Ralph, a child witnessing the breakdown of his parent's marriage and dealing with his father's alcoholism and hasty remarriage. Both the colonial life and the adult relationships are seen, unflatteringly, from Ralph's perspective, and this could easily have been just another caricature of colonial decadence and the end of empire. In fact, despite the sombre story, it has humour and warmth as well as emotional impact. It also looks stunning: it is hard to believe this is Richard Grant's first film. All the cast give strong performances, even if most of them are hardly playing against type: Celia Imry could probably do the "upper-class bitch" and Julie Walters the "blowsy but good-hearted neighbour" in their sleep: but the core relationship between Ralph and his father Harry, played by Gabriel Byrne, is just electrifying. Byrne is totally convincing as the dedicated colonial administrator whose unresolved feelings for his first wife and fears for his future after independence drive him to alcoholism and nearly wreck his second marriage (to the also excellent Emily Watson). According to the press the film has yet to find a distributor: let's hope it is quickly picked up – this is ten times better than any of this summer's blockbusters, and deserves to be seen.


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