Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Gabriel Byrne,
Julie Walters, Emily Watson,
and Miranda Richardson
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 97 minutes
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films
Director: Richard E. Grant
Executive Producer: Julia Blackman, Jeremy Nathan
and Joel Phiri
Producer: Jeff Abberley, Pierre Kubel
Writer: Richard E. Grant
Address Comments To:Samuel Goldwyn, Jr., Chairman/CEO
Meyer Gottlieb, President
Samuel Goldwyn Films
9570 West Pico Blvd., 4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 860-3100
Fax: (310) 860-3195
The movie focuses on Ralph Compton (Nicholas Hoult) and his interaction with his unstable family. Both Ralph and his father Harry (Gabriel Byrne) have been deserted by Ralph’s mother Lauren (Miranda Richardson), which causes great hardship for the Comptons. Harry, a likable and well-meaning man who serves as the country’s minister of education, takes to hard-drinking after his wife leaves, and sends Ralph to boarding school.
When Ralph returns home as a teenager, he discovers that his father has remarried American “commoner” Ruby (Emily Watson). Although it takes some time, Ralph adjusts to his new situation and develops a fondness for his new stepmother. Harry, however, is still in love with Lauren. Her occasional appearances in Swaziland usually drive him to binging on alcohol and abusive behavior.
Ralph struggles to cope with his confusing family situation, but finds puppetry and singing as a creative outlet. Harry’s drinking becomes an increasing hardship for both Ralph and Ruby, and they struggle to keep him on the wagon. Despite Harry’s dangerous alcoholic episodes, Ralph and his stepmother combat his abuse with the most potent weapon at their disposal, unconditional love.
WAH-WAH, which is actor/author Richard E. Grant’s directorial debut, is based on his own experiences growing up in colonial Africa. Grant’s personal connection to the story gives the movie a very realistic feel. The story alternates from being funny, tragic and touching. Harry’s complicated character is played deftly by Gabriel Byrne. Emily Watson is also outstanding as a fish-out-of-water American in the midst of British upper-class snootiness.
The movie shows the dark side of alcoholism, as well as the repercussions alcoholics force their loved ones to face. Ultimately, however, WAH-WAH is a moving story that shows the triumph of agape love.
Thus, the movie has a Christian premise that includes portrayals of a child praying, a kind-hearted priest and several performances of a group singing hymns, such as “All Creatures Large and Small,” and “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Media-wise audiences should be aware, however, that the movie contains strong foul language, brief sexual content and many scenes of alcohol abuse, which makes it inappropriate for children and most teenagers. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
WAH-WAH is actor Richard E. Grant’s directorial debut. It is based on his own experiences growing up in colonial Africa. This personal connection gives the movie a realistic feel. The story alternates from being funny, tragic and touching. It shows the dark side of alcoholism, as well as the repercussions alcoholics force their loved ones to face. Ultimately, WAH-WAH shows the triumph of Christian love and includes other Christian content, but it also contains strong foul language, sexual content and disturbing scenes of alcohol abuse. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.