Friday, July 11, 2008

The History Boys, or How hadn't I seen this sooner?

Why hadn't I seen The History Boys before?

Following a friend's suggestion, I Netflixed it and I couldn't explain to myself why I hadn't seeked this out earlier. Adapted by Alan Bennet from his own Olivier and Tony Award winning play, the film follows a group of boys studying for their Oxbridge exams under the tutelage of two different teachers: Irwin and Hector. But, of course the film elevates the simple plot to create a biting and quite bleak commentary on current (even if it was set in the 80s!) academic and institutional system; homosexuality and the value of history and literature. But more importantly, it is a thoroughly enjoyable movie and like I said, I can't believe it had flown under my radar for so long. I remember wanting to watch it back when it came out, but it somehow hadn't caught my attention since. Thankfully: friends don't let friends go on with life without having watched this movie. I mean, it's got everything I love in a movie:

- Men with accents.
- Homosexuals.
- A theatrical source.
- Boys in Grammar School uniforms.
- A literary context.
- Hot guys.
- A smart script.
- A good soundtrack.
- A homoerotic musical number.
- Brazen attitude towards sexuality.
- Life questioning dialogue.
- History, academics and life seamlessly interwoven.
- Beautiful (historical) scenery.
- A Rufus Wainwright credits song.
- A locker room scene.
- Memorable quotes.
- Inspired performances.
- Music montages.
- A tragic denouement.
- A scene in French.
- Good use of a biker jacket.
& - A crushing last scene.

Do yourself a favour and rent it now.


Vance said...

Seriously, are you plugged into my mind?

Im in the process of putting together a post about Dominic Cooper (Dakin) for the upcoming Mamma Mia movie AND I've fallen in love with the series Gavin & Stacey, which apparently BBCAmerica is going to start showing in a month and I'm preparing an all out love post to G&S which was cocreated and costars James Corden (the fat History Boy) with cameos from a few of the other boys (including Smudge/gay in real life cutiepie Russell Tovey).

I was about to post to get Gavin and Stacey any way you can (ahem) but seems like BBCAmerica just caught on though still doesnt say when it starts.

Vance said...

Oh right, so my point was that I've been thinking about The History Boys a LOT lately again and was thinking I need to see it again.

J.D. said...

That does seem to be a lot of pluses...