The History Boys 2006 ****

Alan Bennett adapted his own stage hit for director Nicholas Hytner, and the result is an unconventional view of the educational process that brims with wit and acute observation of teachers and pupils alike. Hector (Richard Griffith) is the avuncular history teacher gifted with a splendid group of prospects, including James Cordern, Russell Tovey, Dominic Cooper and Samuel Anderson. Hector’s unconventional methods reward his charges with the freedom to think about their subject, and to take their education seriously, but his own sexual proclivities threaten to discredit his own innovative stylings. With little sentimentality, and a practical view of the realities of pupil-teacher relationships, The History Boys is one of the few films about education that actually teach the audience something; an uplifting story about fulfilment that never forgets the complexities of teenage development.


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