I’m not a film buff. I can’t remember our last visit to the cinema. I don’t watch many films on TV. They generally send me to sleep.
But this was a day of rest after a number of hectic days over Christmas, and ‘The History Boys’ came up on TV. I like Alan Bennett’s work though sadly I don’t seek it out.
I found the film spellbinding, absolutely brilliant, occasionally reminiscent of some of the best days of my education, and for once I concur with the critical acclaim for this film:
"According to Time, the film is better than the original play, as the transformation to film improved the 'flow and intimacy' of the production, while preserving the messages it seeks to convey. Rolling Stone notes that some sense of familiarity with the subject of the film is lost in the cutting of nearly an hour from the original play, but the dialogue remains witty and pointed as is the customary style of the author. New York describes the film as 'brilliant and infectious', and filled with Alan Bennett's customary dead-pan humour. The author writes as though he simultaneously envies the extrovert characters he has created, yet is happy to stand apart from them. Hector's classes ramble, but manage to inspire the boys to the extent that they are pleased to adopt his approach to learning, and contentedly go along with his eccentric behaviour. The film is peppered with literary references and carries an encouragement to engage with life."
Here’s more on the film, and on the play on which the film was based. If you haven’t seen it you have a treat in store.