Eugene Weekly : Movies : 1.4.07


This Weeks Movie Reviews:

The History Boys Directed by Nicholas Hytner. Written by Alan Bennett, based on his play. Starring Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Stephen Campbell Moore, Samuel Barnett, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Jamie Parker, Russell Tovey, Samuel Anderson, Sacha Dhawan and Andrew Knott. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2006. 104 minutes. R.

The adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play The History Boys — recreated on film with director, writer and cast intact — is not, thankfully, a British retread of Dead Poets Society, no matter how the previews may try to make it out to be one. But what the film is about is something more nebulous and delicate than your average uplifting prep school story. The film finds its weight in the darker corners of schools, in the power struggle between teachers and students that plays out in ways both beautiful and crooked. Though overburdened with characters defined by just a few lines, The History Boys also looks sideways at the tangled friendships of boys who are not quite men, at their competition and boasting. There are a few women in the film, but the only one with any depth is Mrs. Lintott (Frances de la Tour), the history teacher, who gives a rousing speech about what history really is. Read more…