The Governess (1998)

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The Governess
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TitleThe Governess
Year1998
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreHistory (Movies)
Run Time1h 50 min
Director

Set in the 1830s, the story centers on Rosina da Silva, the sophisticated eldest daughter of a wealthy Jewish Italian family living in a small enclave of Sephardic London Jews. When her father is murdered on the street and leaves behind numerous debts, she refuses an arranged marriage to an older suitor, declaring that she will work to support her family, even if she has to take to the stage like her aunt, who is a renowned singer. She decides to use her classical education and advertise her services as a governess, transforming herself into Mary Blackchurch – a Protestant of partial Italian descent – in order to conceal her heritage. She quickly accepts a position as governess for a Scottish family living on the Isle of Skye in the Hebrides. Patriarch Charles Cavendish is a man of science intent on solving the problem of retaining a photographic image on paper, while his pretentious wife flounders in a sea of ennui. Their young daughter Clementina initially resists Mary’s discipline, but eventually finds in her a friend and companion.

Mary, well-educated and unusually curious in an era when a woman’s primary focus is keeping house and attending to the needs of her family, surprises Charles with the depth of her interest and ability and becomes his assistant. He is delighted to find a kindred spirit in his isolation, and the admiration she feels soon turns to passion that he reciprocates. While secretly observing Passover in her room, she spills salt water onto one of Charles’ prints, accidentally discovering a technique that preserves the image. The next morning she rushes to the laboratory to tell Charles, and their excitement spills over into making love for the first time. But he becomes increasingly consumed with the race to publish their new process, while she is captivated by the beauty of the photographs they create.

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Date of download: 2015-11-11T17:22:34+00:00

The Governess
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Cast:

Minnie Driver Minnie Driver
Rosina da Silva
Tom Wilkinson Tom Wilkinson
Mr. Charles Cavendish
Harriet Walter Harriet Walter
Mrs. Cavendish
Jonathan Rhys Meyers Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Henry Cavendish
Florence Hoath Florence Hoath
Clementina Cavendish
Ofra Haza Ofra Haza
Featured Vocalist

Set in the 1830s, the story centers on Rosina da Silva, the sophisticated eldest daughter of a wealthy Jewish Italian family living in a small enclave of Sephardic London Jews. When her father is murdered on the street and leaves behind numerous debts, she refuses an arranged marriage to an older suitor, declaring that she will work to support her family, even if she has to take to the stage like her aunt, who is a renowned singer. She decides to use her classical education and advertise her services as a governess, transforming herself into Mary Blackchurch – a Protestant of partial Italian descent – in order to conceal her heritage. She quickly accepts a position as governess for a Scottish family living on the Isle of Skye in the Hebrides. Patriarch Charles Cavendish is a man of science intent on solving the problem of retaining a photographic image on paper, while his pretentious wife flounders in a sea of ennui. Their young daughter Clementina initially resists Mary’s discipline, but eventually finds in her a friend and companion.

Mary, well-educated and unusually curious in an era when a woman’s primary focus is keeping house and attending to the needs of her family, surprises Charles with the depth of her interest and ability and becomes his assistant. He is delighted to find a kindred spirit in his isolation, and the admiration she feels soon turns to passion that he reciprocates. While secretly observing Passover in her room, she spills salt water onto one of Charles’ prints, accidentally discovering a technique that preserves the image. The next morning she rushes to the laboratory to tell Charles, and their excitement spills over into making love for the first time. But he becomes increasingly consumed with the race to publish their new process, while she is captivated by the beauty of the photographs they create.

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