Governess, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -3

When her father (Bruce Meyers) is murdered, Rosina Da Silva (Minnie Driver), a young Jewish woman, is traumatized. The place is London, the time is the Victorian period of the 1840s. After his death, Rosina's mother (Diana Brooks) wants to arrange a marriage for her to a man she doesn't love. Rosina reads the employment ads and decides to pass as a Gentile, Mary Blackchurch. She finds a position as a governess in Scotland with Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cavendish (Torn Wilkinson and Harriet Walter). They have a daughter, Clementina (Florence Hoath), whom Mary is to teach. Mary and Charles begin an affair in which Mary feels no remorse and falls in love. Charles, however, finds the affair "sinful " and must not go on, but it does. Despite the subplot of the Cavendish son, Henry (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), falling in love with Mary, the film moves slowly with a dull and predictable plot. It is doubtful that the film will have much box office appeal.

One of the film's commendable points is Charles's aversion to the sinful nature of their adultery; regrettably, Mary does not feel the same. Because she does not share his feelings, and because he continues to commit adultery with her, their adultery is glamorized in the film. While it could have been portrayed as undesirable or having negative consequences, it is not. Thus, condoned adultery and frequent nudity are the most objectionable features of the film. Mary and Charles kiss and embrace passionately. Sexual intercourse is shown once, and sex is implied another time. Near nudity occurs several times when Mary is wearing only her corset and petticoats. There are several scenes of nudity exhibited sensually, including shots of Mary, Charles, and Henry. And once, Mary swims nude in the ocean. Foul language and violence are limited, therefore it is the explicit sex and scenes of nudity that degrade THE GOVERNESS.

Preview Reviewer: Abigail Hamilton
Sony Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (2) times - Mild (1), Moderate (1)

Obscene Language: Once (slang word for urination)

Profanity: None

Violence: One time - Mild (man shoves woman and briefly tries to force himself on her)

Sex: Shown once and implied once (adulterous couple in bed)

Nudity: Several (7) times - full female breast nudity, woman photographed nude from behind, man photographed nude with genital area covered, young man seen nude from behind and from side, photograph of nude man front view, woman swims nude; Near Nudity - Few (4) times (woman seen twice in undergarments only, woman photographed in corset, woman dances seminude with scarf)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (passionate kisses and embraces, woman undresses man, woman tells young man to undress, woman photographed in corset presses breasts to chest, woman dances sensually semi-nude with scarf)

Drugs: Drinking wine, reference to using opium

Other: Ethnic slur (Jew-girl 3), woman condones adultery, man opposes it but commits it, woman has affair with man and starts affair with his son

Running Time: 114 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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