The History Boys

Rated NR

Eight brilliant boys, all with an anthology of quotations dripping from their tongues, spend one final semester absorbing every last poem, philosophy and anecdote in order to prepare for the test that will ensure or deny acceptance into Oxford or Cambridge. Helping the young scholars in their worldly studies is a free-spirited professor (Richard Griffiths) with a Hell’s Angels pulse; he rides his motorcycle with a student so he can cop a feel in between poetic banter. There’s also a new recruit teacher (Stephen Campbell Moore), whose rebellious teaching styles contradict his shy demeanor. However, there’s much more to director Nicholas Hytner’s film than lessons on Nietzsche. A James Dean type (Dominic Cooper) explores various facets of his sexuality; an awkward loner confronts his homosexuality; others battle the scholarship-obsessed headmaster as he hypocritically preaches about charm and refinery while coveting his leggy secretary. Alan Bennett adapts his own play into a script with a witty, fast pace that entices.

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