The Constant Gardener

  • 15
  • Fernando Meirelles (2005)
  • UK / Ger
  • 123 min
The Constant Gardener
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Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

City of God director Fernando Meirelles brings his distinctive visual style to this moving political thriller, based on the novel by John le Carré. Ralph Fiennes plays Justin Quayle, a Foreign Office diplomat in Kenya, whose activist wife Tessa (a compelling Rachel Weisz, winner of the film's only Oscar) is found murdered. The story is then played out in a series of flashbacks, as Justin - a normally passive man who puts more effort into nurturing his plants than his marriage - tries to understand his wife's motives and the events that led to her death. Justin's gardening works well as a powerful metaphor for the apathy of the rich West to the world's poor, as Meirelles examines life in some of Kenya's most impoverished communities. Drug company profiteering, conspiracy and murder are at the heart of this film, but it's also a touching love story that will break your heart.

Plot Summary

Political thriller starring Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, based on the novel by John le Carré. British diplomat Justin Quayle begins a new posting in Kenya accompanied by his spirited young wife Tessa, an outspoken critic of poverty. When Tessa is brutally murdered, her normally unassuming husband begins to ruffle a few feathers as he tries to discover who was responsible for her killing.

Cast and crew


Justin Quayle
Ralph Fiennes
Tessa Quayle
Rachel Weisz
Sandy Woodrow
Danny Huston
Sir Bernard Pellegrin
Bill Nighy
Pete Postlethwaite
Arthur Hammond
Richard McCabe
Tim Donohue
Donald Sumpter
Gloria Woodrow
Juliet Aubrey
Arnold Bluhm
Hubert Koundé
Ghita Pearson
Archie Panjabi


Fernando Meirelles

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Swearing and nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 11 Nov 2005
Certificate 15
Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd