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A liberated young schoolteacher at an Edinburgh girls' school in the period between the two wars, instructs her girls on the ways of life. Ignoring the more mundane subjects, she teaches them of love, politics and art. Her affairs with two male teachers become known and she finds herself fighting to keep her job. She believes that she can always count on the 100% support of her favourite pupils, but one of them does not feel that Miss Jean Brodie is in her "prime" any more. No longer swayed by her teacher's eloquence, she begins to learn about life and love herself. Written by
It is clearly not the greatest movie of all time, but it is my personal favorite, in part because I am a teacher and--well i almost said anglophile, but are we supposed to call it ecosophile (lover of Scotland)?
I hardly know where to begin. Making those girls look like little girls and then later like grown-up girls. Jean Brodie's incredibly eccentric persona as a teacher until in the end one "girl" figures her out. The complexity of her personality. How perfectly she is played by Maggie Smith in her greatest role. The fact that the movie dares, for its time, portray an illicit affair between a teacher and a student (the French would have had no such qualms). Jean's insouciant insistance that she can teach any way she wants without any fundamental concern for her students. The art teacher's remark that "Mary McGrogan couldn't navigate her way across Edinburgh" after she has been killed in the Spanish civil war (Edinburgh is a famously compact city).
I go on too long. One drawback? That asinine theme song.
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