Based on the stage play that won more Tony Awards than any other play in the past 50 years, The History Boys is an independent film that was nominated for four British Independent Film Awards. All this sounds good but does it live up to the promise? I would have to say 'yes' if you are a fan of the dry British sense of wit and small films. In this film there are not too many moments which are not humourous but at the same time things are not always as simple as they first seem. It is along the lines of a 'Dead Poets Society' but undeniably British. The ordeals of teenager life are mixed with razor sharp humour. This is a film that is all about script and acting and both are excelled at. Without being slapstick in the least the script manages to churn out a number of one liners that will really have you laughing. There is intelligence behind everything about this film. Many parts of the film will strike a chord with viewers and you are really able to relate. That is good writing! We see how unpredictable life is through these characters. What education in its purest form is and should be is really examined by the film. Teachers should be our role models and inspirations. They are shown to be human with flaws, but still have the ability to be able to inspire. Despite the fact that most of the cast is unknown to many of us, each of the characters in the film becomes lovable due to the skill of how they are acted. The soundtrack rounds out the brilliance of the film with its who's who of British 80s music.
It is the 1980s in the industrial town of Sheffield in England and 8 young men finishing high school have done exceedingly well with their A-levels so they are now looking to the admission tests for prestigious universities such as Oxford. They are now facing the final push in the studying for these tests and need all the help from their professors that they can get. Two teachers, Hector (Richard Griffiths – Venus, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) – a flamboyant older man who has a unique teaching style and 'adores' the boys, and Irwin (Stephen Campbell Moore – A Good Woman, Amazing Grace) – a new teacher who really makes the students think, different teaching styles push the young men to be all they can be. The different teaching styles of these two influential teachers causes the boys to really take a step back and examine what it means to learn and what being 'successful' truly is. While all this thinking and laughing is going on life comes up behind them all and smacks them in the head with how random it can be at times.
-History Boys Around the World Tour Diaries
-Pass on the History Boys on Screen