Wah-Wah (15) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

Richard E Grant's directorial debut unfolds a semi-autobiographical story of his awkward adolescence among the British expats of early Seventies Swaziland. Ralph Compton (Nicholas Hoult) is heartbroken when his mother (Miranda Richardson) runs off with another man, a disgrace his government-minister father (Gabriel Byrne) counters by marrying a feisty American air hostess (Emily Watson) and taking to the bottle. Grant's recall of the genteel vernacular and petty snobbery of this moribund colonial community lightly mixes satire with nostalgia. The episodic narrative bubbles away quite nicely, Byrne and Watson are terrific, and Grant carries off his debut with some style.

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