Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


The St. Trinian's girls leave their mark on the Eton boys
ST. TRINIAN'S (2007). Directors: Oliver Parker; Barnaby Thompson.

Carnaby Fritton (Rupert Everett) brings his daughter Annabelle (Talulah Riley) to the girl's school run by his sister Camilla (Everett again, impersonating a more famous British Camilla), where Annabelle is at first dismayed by her classmates and then accepted by them. In this remake of The Belles of St. Trinian's, Colin Firth plays an educational minister, Thwaites, who wants to shut down the school with its unruly students and uncouth headmistress for good. In truth, the school, is about to be shuttered due to major debts, so the girls come up with a wild scheme to steal a famous painting during a quiz show. (They manage to win by seducing the boys from Eton and other tricks.) Everett continues the tradition begun by Alistair Sim in playing the headmistress in drag, but while amusing enough, he's neither as good nor as funny as Sim. It's been years since I saw the original movie, but as I recall it had charm, and this new version has no charm whatsoever. The movie is only sporadically amusing, such as when Camilla and Thwaites, who were once lovers, remark about "another time, another country" in an in-joke: Everett and Firth played best friends in the film Another Country. Gemma Arterton makes an impression as Kelly.  St. Trinian's was followed by a sequel in 2009.

Verdict: Might have looked good on paper. **.

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