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Aro Recommended Wah-Wah

 

UK / South Africa 2005, 120 minutes
Dir. Richard E. Grant
Genres: Drama

Topics: Rites-of-passage, Period 1960s, Biopic.

 

Aroview: A caustic memoir of colonial growing pains from actor Richard E. Grant (WITHNAIL AND I), chronicling his own adolescence in Swaziland during the late-1960s amid the increasing incongruity of the British administration and his family's slide into dysfunction.

With his father (Byrne), who is the minister for education, teetering into alcoholism and his mother (Richardson) not-so-secretly diving into extramarital affairs, their young son (Hoult) is sent to boarding school. Returning two years later he finds his father remarried to a gauche, but enjoyably rebellious American air hostess (Watson), who soon becomes his confidant in the crumbling British mores of this obscure African colony. Dir. Grant pitches the story above realism with an enjoyable vein of black comic exaggeration, but overall the film has a heartfelt, silvery tone of nostalgia, even when seasoned with a certain bitter reflectiveness.

NZ International Film Festival 2006

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