Parents' Guide to

Gideon's Daughter

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Well-acted, witty dad-daughter BBC drama.

Movie NR 2006 106 minutes
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Gideon's Daughter is not a formulaic Hollywood product, but a thoughtful British drama combining real-life events and personalities of the recent past with a fictional father-daughter divide. The film has a puzzling set-up and chronology, as a man named Sneath (Robert Lindsay) begins dictating Gideon's story to his secretary. It helps to know that Sneath was a character in a previous BBC drama by writer-director Stephen Poliakoff entitled Friends and Crocodiles; if you don't have knowledge of late 20th-century British events, such as the building of the Millennium Dome or the election of the Tony Blair government, much of the backdrop will be confusing.

The narrative is a slow-simmering affair, consistently watchable thanks to the witty dialogue, sterling performances, a lush orchestral music score, and no clearly predictable path for the story to go next. Of course, when it doesn't go much of anywhere (leaving the ultimate fate of the main players to Sneath's guesswork; even he isn't sure) … there you are.

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