By Owen Gleiberman
Updated August 14, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Minnie Driver plays Rosina da Silva, a young Jewish woman in 1840s London who passes herself off as a gentile, landing a job at a remote Scottish mansion, where she becomes governess to a family so dour and civilized that she appears to have entered a castle of WASP vampires. The Governess is a have-your-kugel-and-eat-it-too princess fantasy. Writer-director Sandra Goldbacher glorifies her heroine at every turn, but she also fills the movie with arid pauses, turning it into a claustrophobic study in ”repression.” C

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