The Governess (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Governess1998

The Governess (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Governess Photos

Movie Info

Set in England between the Georgian and Victorian eras, The Governess takes its title from a young Jewish woman who, after the death of her father, is offered the job of nanny for the gentile Cavendish family on the Isle of Skye off the coast of London. When Rosina Da Silva (Minnie Driver) changes her name to Mary Blackchurch to take the job, she is quickly taken in by the family as one of their own. But things become complicated as Mary discovers the experiments Mr. Cavendish (Tom Wilkinson) is conducting behind the locked doors of his laboratory. Cavendish is close to discovering how to develop photographic images, and as he and Mary start working together on the project, their romantic attraction becomes irresistibly passionate.

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Minnie Driver
as Rosina da Silva
Tom Wilkinson
as Mr. Charles Cavendish
Harriet Walter
as Mrs. Cavendish
Florence Hoath
as Clementina Cavendish
Bruce Myers
as Rosina's Father
Emma Bird
as Becca
Arlene Cockburn
as Lily Milk
Adam Levy
as Benjamin
Diana Brooks
as Rosina's Mother
as Leonora
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
as Henry Cavendish
Kendal Cramer
as Young Rosina
Ralph Riach
as Mr. Hewlett
Joe Bromley
as Prostitute
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Critic Reviews for The Governess

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (7)

The Governess could be an illustration of the ideas in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, in which she marvels at how necessary it is for men to have women to feel superior to.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

If Jane Austen or a Brontë sister were inclined to revolve their tale of forbidden love and parlor room intrigue around a Jewish heroine, The Governess would undoubtedly resemble the result.

July 15, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

A beautifully crafted drama set in England during the 1840s about feminine intuition, creativity, and passion.

March 3, 2002 | Full Review…

A heavy going but at times embroiling drama.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Goldbacher, in her first feature, has tied together many ideas about photography, dreams and love, and presented them both fairly and exquisitely.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

for sheer visual elegance, 'The Governess' has few equals, and the magnificence of its imagery more than compensates for its somewhat overheated story.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Governess


A London bred jewess takes the job of governess for a gentile scientist's family on the Isle of Skye. Can Victorian scandal be far behind? Interesting tale with excellent performances, particularly by Driver and Wilkinson.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

There you go Minnie Driver. There is life after Matt Damon after all! Too bad we hardly see you anymore. The Governess was a good platform for you. Where did you jump?

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

The Governess Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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