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First off the soundtrack was very evocative and captured the highly charged and equally fun times in college in the 80s. Three of the band featured played at Trinity either right before, or while I was there; The Smiths, The Cure and the Psychedelic Furs. It was also great to hear a bit of Paul Weller too.
The basic idea of the film was pretty simple; smart boy from less privileged background goes to University. Just as the Undertones sang “He loves University Challenge” and the fun ensues. It doesn’t sound like much, yet the film is really well written and a lot of the characters reminded me of people I met/avoided when I was in college.
One of the reasons I enjoyed it so much…I laughed out loud quite a bit…was that the acting was so good. You probably couldn’t afford to assemble a cast like this in 2013:
Catherine Tate as the mum? Priceless!
James Corden as the ‘I love heavy metal’ pal.
Benedict Cumberbatch as the over-zealous, pompous quiz fanatic.
There was even a chap from Holby City in it…not that I watch soap-operas!
The lead actor James McEvoy was also excellent in the Last King of Scotland, and apparently was in an X-Men film.
Rebecca Hall has done lots of big films since, while the other main actress is the daughter of Trevor Eve (Shoestring! And Waking the Dead!)
It had that great witty banter that Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead had. And I can’t think of a film that made me laugh as much since those two. Well worth a watch as the cold autumn nights draw in.
And yes there really was a guy EXACTLY like the ‘man just back from India’ in Trinity while I was there.
Wild Hearted Outsider