What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids, even older teens, probably won't be very interested in this small, talky British film based on Alan Bennett's award-winning play. Several central characters -- both students and teachers -- are homosexual and struggling with their desires. Treated in a mature way, this theme is addressed through clever, occasionally explicit dialogue (but no graphic imagery). The movie doesn't outright condemn the teachers' desire or suggest that the boys are damaged when one awkward instructor regularly "handles their nuts." In one scene, a student takes off his trousers (you see boxers) to act out a skit in class; in another, he's in bed with a female secretary (they're talking, post-sex, no explicit nudity). A fatal traffic accident occurs off-screen, and characters mourn the resulting death. Characters smoke and use "f--k" and strong other language.
- Families can talk about the differences between the students' and teachers' ambitions. How do the boys learn to make use of their two teachers' different styles of learning? How do the boys "come of age" in different ways? Also, how does the movie show multiple points of view through conversations and camerawork? And how do the movie's dialogue and staging show that it was based on a play? How is the movie's treatment of its characters' homosexuality similar to and different from the way sexuality is addressed in other movies and TV shows?