DIRECTOR: LEWIS GILBERT
COUNTRY: ENGLAND 1983
CINEMATOGRAPHY: FRANK WATTS
MUSIC: DAVID HENTSCHEL
CAST: Michael Caine, Julie Walters
SUPER FEATURES: The acting.
This film, when it was first made, was essentially a re-union between Lewis Gilbert and Michael Caine, who both came upon the scene fifteen
years earlier, with ALFIE.
And the main thrust of the film, then, was the character that Michael Caine was playing, which came off a bit as a modern day Restoration
play, complete with asides.
EDUCATING RITA, is a bit of the same, but the story, this time is not about a guy picking up women, or the proverbial middle class ageing
stud philosophizing about his successes and failures. The character is now a professor of poetry and literature, who has become bored with his own teaching and his students. In comes along a new student, an Irish lady in her twenties, who wants to learn something else about life, other than the usual thing, get married and have kids, which her boyfriend is pushing for.
And the well meaning, but generally drunk professor, is starting to enjoy his tutorship of this spirited lady. She doesn't have all the knowledge and studies that all students do, but she has verve and nerve. And she has original ideas, actually, fresh ideas, with a point of view that is more often than not ignored.
Eventually the professor does himself in, and the film has a chance to turn into a love story, but it does not do so. Rita, has not gotten this far to stop her studies now, and the film is not going to stop her.
This film, today, is better remembered as one where both leads were nominated for the Best Actor and Best Actress awards. They didn't win, but their work is well remembered, even if Julie Walters has never really hit the big time as she did in that film.
Wonderful showcase of acting, for both leads. This is a really good film, that shows what a director can do when he helps his actors do their thing, instead of creating a film that is about the crass of entertainment and money that Hollywood usually creates.
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