Let me confess -- I get Google news alerts all day long on my favorite actors in the vain hopes of scooping the other, more ingenious cinematical correspondants. I pick weird, quirky actors who bring something more to the picture than just their celebrity-status, and my favorite quirky actors almost always tend to be foreign, more often than not British (with the exception of Dianne Wiest, Ellen Burstyn, and, well ... Donald Sutherland is Canadian).

So I'm amazed that the word on Keeping Mum is, er ... mum, despite its flagrantly awesome cast. From my list of people to watch: Maggie Smith and Rowan Atkinson, as well as Kristin Scott Thomas (who was almost kicked off the list for making out with Harrison Ford, and Up at the Villa, both of which were astoundingly lame movies I will not link to for our collective benefit). Atkinson plays a pastor so preoccupied with penning the perfect sermon that he fails to realize his family's up to no good. At some point The Swayze (I prefer to leave the 'e' silent, because it sounds cool to say The Swayze) shows up, either to distract the family or alert Atkinson.

p>If you're wondering if you might have seen Ms. Thomas and Mr. Atkinson in a prior comedic flick, also involving a clergyman, you have. If you feel the need to ask whether you've seen Ms. Thomas and Ms. Smith in a film together, you'll get a failing grade in the class titled 'Recent Masterpieces in Twee British Cinema,' because of course they've been in a movie together! I think we all know Mr. Atkinson can do comedy. Ms. Smith has a good deal of comedic bite, and those of you old enough to overlook her Harry Potter role should look to her prime work and say fascisti with a prim face in a wildly exaggerated Scottish accent.

Your bonus question for the comments: What is it that makes British comedy so much more clever than American comedy? Don't be afraid to be obvious.