The History Boys

Director: Nicholas Hytner
Year Released: 2006
Rating: 2.0

A group of intelligent, hard-working school kids on their way to England's most prestigious schools get guidance from three teachers: a female history teacher, a portly eccentric with a fondness for fondling and a prim and proper younger teacher who is too scared to fondle. The wit is formidable, but the story is flaccid - presumably, in order to get into an elitist school you need to take creative liberties (Charles Taylor? Pol Pot? Idealists, I'd say!) - not to mention the heavy-handed focus on the boys' latent homosexuality (to go along with their teachers' homosexuality) and maudlin ending. Richard Griffiths' performance has been justifiably rewarded, though his teaching methodology is indeed questionable (and how he produces results by 'befriending' his protégés is not exactly developed) - in the U.S., he'd have been put in jail and/or burned at the stake (but in this tale, the boys are inexplicably complicit with his sexual interest in them). No, no - I get it, Mr. Bennett, I get it - but your fantasy is simply that....