The Browning Version (1994)
Release Year: 1994
Writers: Ronald Harwood (screenplay), Terence Rattigan (based on his 1948 play The Browning Version)
Starring: Albert Finney, Greta Scacchi, Matthew Modine, Julian Sand, Michael Gambon, Ben Silverstone, Jim Sturgess, Joseph Beattie, Mark Bolton, Tom Havelock, Maryam D’Abo
Rating: Nominated for the Palme D’Or.
Andrew Crocker-Harris (Albert Finney) is a brilliant but embittered and disliked classics teacher at a boarding school. After twenty years of service to the school he is forced to retired and his marriage disintegrates and he is forced to reflect on his career and attempt to gain his self-respect.
There are many great films about inspirational teachers t boarding school. There is something fascinating about that type of environment that speak loudly even to people who have never come close to such a school. Finney’s (Big Fish, 2003) old-fashioned teacher is generally disliked, except by those precious few students who come along once in a while that just love Latin and Greek, and the students are cruel to him when he isn’t around. The film does not take its cue from any particular student-teacher relationship, rather it focuses on Crocker-Harris as he tries to make sense of his career and becomes a reflection on education and the nature of teaching. Finney is brilliant, convincingly capturing the air of an experienced and slightly aloof teacher and showing Crocker-Harris heartache with such sensitivity that it is almost beautiful. Apart from its central performance, however, the remake is only partly succesful. The teaching methods of Crocker-Harris and the overall atmosphere of the school seem like they would have been a thing of the distant past already in 1994, an thus clashes with the students who are obviously kids of the 1980s. Still, highly recommended, especially if you like boarding school films.
There is no trailer available for The Browning Version. Instead we offer a clip from the movie:
The feature film début of Jim Sturgess, who is credited as James Sturgess.
Picture Copyright: UIP