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The History Boys (2006)

The History Boys poster.jpg

Nicholas Hytner directed Alan Bennett’s play at the National Theatre where it was a critical and popular hit. He took it to the big screen with some of the stage cast. It’s the story of a group of sixth formers at grammar school who need coaching to get through their Oxbridge exams. A new Cambridge grad Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore) said to be based on Niall Ferguson is brought in to enhance their chances. He has a style that clashes with that of camp eccentric Richard Griffiths, who has them learn endlessly quotable¬†poems and perform songs and movie scenes; and traditional Frances de la Tour. The boys are a racial and sexual mix. They include a range of young acting talent, Dominic Cooper, Russell Tovey and James Corden among them. Their path to success is paved with difficulty and includes a day trip to a monastery burned out by Henry VIII who Irwin likens to Stalin and Thatcher. An interesting sojourn, definitely, but not cinematically great.

About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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