Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Desperate to better herself, working class Liverpudlian Rita (Julie Walters) attends the local Open University where she studies Literature under the tutelage of Dr Frank Bryant (Michael Caine), an alcoholic who has lost all passion for teaching the subject until she comes into his life and brightens it up.
Originally a West End play, Educating Rita has to be one of the finest British films of the early '80s. Julie Walters is perfect as Rita, making her a passionate driven character, and bringing great comic timing and delivery to the character's frankness and self-expressiveness, making her comic gold. Michael Caine is equally perfectly cast as Frank, making him a very deep, witty character and creating such a convincing drunk that you actually wonder if Caine turned up drunk on set (he didn't by the way, he's just a ridiculously convincing actor). Together these two marvellous performers create such a beautiful on-screen relationship, full of banter, wit, and vast amounts of chemistry, creating a relationship where even their screaming matches are a delight to watch.
As for Willy Russell's screenplay, it does what so many old comedies - Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951), Some Like it Hot (1958) - does, it brings sophistication to the wit, the banter, and, of course, the characters, creating such a charming and pleasurable feel to it all. This charm and wit makes it such a lovely, irresistable comedy that one just falls in love with it instantainously, and can't help but feel charmed by Caine and Walters thanks to their dialogue. A classy screenplay of comedy, for which Russell truly deservedly earned his Oscar nomination.
A really heartfelt and profound comedy, and an excellent example of how British humour differs from the over-the-top farcical kind that Hollywood has provided in almost all their comedies since 1980, this is a charming must-watch which I would recommend to anyone.
Stars: Julie Walters, Michael Caine, Michael Williams, Maureen Lipman, Jeananne Crowley, Malcolm Douglas, Godfrey Quigley, Dearbhla Molloy.
Oscar nominations: Best Actor (Michael Caine), Best Actress (Julie Walters), Best Adapted Screenplay (Willy Russell).