The film can't hide its stage origins, and in cutting almost an hour on the journey from stage to screen some resonance is lost. But Bennett's dialogue sparkles and skewers with killer wit. Dig in. show more
Somewhere in the translation from stage to screen, The History Boys has become an intelligent misfire. What's left is a literate but listless film. show more
The History Boys is an erudite, sharply written film with consummate performances, but its origins on the stage are all too obvious. show more
September 28, 2008 Eddyknoxdown
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There are some stage plays that seem to be made for crossing over into film. Plays that just "fit" in Hollywood; the History Boys is not one of them. Characters were under-developed, acting was overdone, the directing style was flat and still. On a personal level, if I had a teacher who groped my genitals every time I hitched a ride with him, I don't think I would find any humor in it. Such was the case in the film. I kept finding myself cringing at the idea of any of this happening in real life (mainly, because it does happen in real life). Of course, there are some deeper themes here but, all-in-all, it's a story about a sick teacher who fondles his students and then is made to look like the victim under a hard-headed (and foolish) head-master. At the end of the day, somewhere between the un-subtitled scene spoken completely in French and one of the students telling his teacher to "suck him off" as a way of displaying gratitude (which, in fact, the teacher is excited to go through with), the movie lost me. I felt like laughing in the final "motorcycle" scene but then felt sort of bad because, I suppose, they were trying to be serious at that point (nice timing). The sad thing is, the only point at which the movie held my attention was when the teacher/molester got confronted by the headmaster and I found myself thinking "finally, some fricken' justice for this jackass." Then, as I already said, the film made him look like the victim...ridiculous. All in all, I HATED this movie. I'll give it one star because the seasoned actors were at least believable (even though the other characters, plot and theme were not).