Feature > Reel Affirmations 2009

St. Trinianís

Date: Friday, 10/23/2009
Time: 7:00 pm

Venue: Shakepeare's Harman
Tickets: $10 - [Buy Tickets]

Type: Feature presentation

Metro Weekly Rating: starstarstarstarstar (5 out of 5)

"FOR EVERY NEED there is a misdeed." The words belong to a low-rent scoundrel named Flash (Russell Brand), and he's imparting his wisdom to the young ladies housed at St. Trinian's, an English girl's school that eschews proper manners for all-out anarchy. The girls are planning a heist -- stealing Vermeer's masterpiece "Girl With a Pearl Earring" from London's national gallery -- and Flash, who runs their fencing operation, is lending a hand. Not that they need the help. These are quite an assortment of self-sufficient young ladies. Little individual terror trains, they are.

And you just can't help but adore the hellions who occupy the wickedly, wildly funny St. Trinian's. The movie is based on the considerably more genteel 1955 The Belles of St. Trinian's, which starred the magnificent Alistair Sim in the dual role of the school's headmistress Millicent Fritton and her scheming brother, Clarence. Rupert Everett takes on the Fritton roles in this update, and his wry, off-the-cuff take on Camilla Fritton, with her slight hunch and unsavory overbite, is Everett's best performance in years. He's matched by Colin Firth's straight-laced minister of education; the two share an inside joke that hilariously recalls a certain film the pair made together when they were much, much younger.

To be honest, there's not much in the way of gay content in St. Trinian's -- a joke here or a reference there -- and Everett's drag turn is less a cross-dressing reference than it is an homage to a British comic tradition of funny men portraying even funnier women.

St. Trinian's is a loud, bracing wild mouse ride -- zipping this way, zooming that, and frequently detouring into pure silliness before finally settling on a main course. Yet it's a ride you'll love, particularly if you're partial to British humor.

More information

Film Links:

Festival Venue:

Shakespeare Theatre's Harman Center for the Arts
610 F Street, NW; Washington, DC 20004 [map]
(202) 547-1122
Near the Archives-Navy Memorial Yellow/Green Line Metro


For more information, pick up a copy of the Reel Affirmations 19 program guide or visit www.reelaffirmations.org.

For individual tickets and festival passes, visit www.reelaffirmations.org. Festival passes are $150 and allow for entry to all films except opening and closing nights. Tickets are available at the door of each showing or at Universal Gear (1529 14th St. NW).

For more information, call 202-547-1122 or visit www.reelaffirmations.org.