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Danny has been sent to boarding school, in this sequel to The Year My Voice Broke. Against a backdrop of bullying and sadistic teachers Danny strikes up an affair with an African girl, Thandiwe, studying at a nearby girl's school. Their affair blossoms while everyone tries to stop it. Nicole Kidman also appears as a sexually repressed senior at Thandiwe's school.Written by
Matthew Stanfield <email@example.com>
So what did you actually do together?
I beg your pardon?
No, it's all right. You don't have to tell me. I think... if I liked somebody enough... I'd want to...
Have you ever?
Of course not.
Well... Do you remember the young guy who was fixing the bell tower? I used to take him a cup of tea each morning before assembly. I rather liked him even though he never said anything much. I used to... close my eyes... and sit on a chair... and let him touch me all over... as long as he promised ...
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Those who've watched The Wonder Years will recognise the style of storytelling here. The main character is also the narrator, there's an ongoing reference to world events, there are adolescents growing into maturity, and there are some wonderfully rounded and recognisable individuals.
Both main characters experience discrimination, including in Thandie Newton's case, racial discrimination both overt and implied - e.g. an Australian lad says to her "Your English is very good", to which she responds "So is yours"!
On the surface it's just a coming-of-age school story, but the film continually rises above this to greater heights of poignancy and subtlety.
Nicole Kidman is brilliant in the difficult role of the head of school who apparently has it all until, in one of the most moving moments of the film, her true self is revealed.
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