Drama about life at Rugby School in Victorian England. The headmaster is fair but not effective and life is brutal for the young boys because of bullying and it's consequences. The acting ...
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Two teen boys meet each other by chance in Copenhagen and team up to find one of the boys' mother. Will they find her or will they maybe find the thing that they are really missing in their lives instead?
Sebastian Elkrog Sørensen,
Life for Dee Stanton is improving at every turn. Her legal career is blossoming and her boyfriend Dominic unexpectedly proposes to her. Things were very different 11 years ago when her ... See full summary »
Ryden Malby graduates from college and is forced to move back into her childhood home with her eccentric family, while she attempts to find a job, the right guy, and just a hint of where her life is headed.
Drama about life at Rugby School in Victorian England. The headmaster is fair but not effective and life is brutal for the young boys because of bullying and it's consequences. The acting and character development are good and the roles well cast. It's a good adaptation of the novel and was filmed at The Rugby School. Written by
A Moving and Timeless Story of Bullies and Victims
This at least fifth adaptation of Thomas Hughes' 1857 autobiographical novel "Tom Brown's School Days" provides a classic comparison to Harry Potter's Hogwarts, which has probably revived curiosity in portrayals of English boarding school life.
While I presume any 90 minute version (2 hours on BBC America with commercials), has to cut a lot more from the book than the 1971 mini-series that I haven't seen (nor have I read the book), the characters and the situations came through strongly.
Not the Dickensian deprivations of the poor house in "Oliver Twist", Ashley Pharoah's adaptation is much more about typical behavior in an all male environment that is a precursor to "Lord of the Flies," the dark side of "Peter Pan" where boys do adult actions without growing up, or at least various military movies (I only knew the naval song "Heart of Oak," used in a humiliating scene, because of "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World").
Key to enlivening this from just another costume drama with stock characters (the bully, the victim, the ineffectual leader, etc.) is the wonderful titular performance of Alex Pettyfer, billed as "introducing." I can't recall seeing a boy actor transform so much in front of our eyes other than Christian Bale in "Empire of the Sun," as he develops from timid to athlete to swaggerer to mature leader.
Stephen Fry is particularly good at conveying his guilt at the hypocrisy he gets trapped into as a well-meaning new headmaster trying to change a traditional den of testosterone gone wild. Jemma Redgrave doesn't get do very much as his oblivious wife.
Joe Beattie, in the thankless role of the arrogant, wealthy villain a la Malfoy in the Potter oeuvre, plays him foppishly, like Guy Pearce in the most recent version of "The Count of Monte Cristo." I was actually surprised when he cruelly seduced a maid, as I thought the homo-erotic potential in this hot house environment was implied, particularly when it is emphasized how "different" the weakest victim is as he shines at poetry readings.
A story of the perniciousness of bullying left unchecked never goes out of date, and this portrayal is universal and timeless, regardless of its period setting.
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