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Awesome: 21.15%
Worth A Look: 30.77%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

6 reviews, 16 user ratings

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Winslow Boy, The
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by Greg Muskewitz

"ARTiculation as you've never heard it."
4 stars

The only other Mamet movie I remember seeing is "The Spanish Prisoner," one of my favorite movies last year. While I liked "The Winslow Boy" a whole lot, for me it doesn't come close to the aforementioned film, but it still showcases Mamet's intensive directorial capabilities. As much as I like period dramas, my one main quibble with "The Winslow Boy" was its pacing; it felt like the entire cast and crew were on valium. And as far as the fuss about Mamet doing a G, I don't have anything else but a PG to hold it against.

“The Winslow Boy” is the most recent piece by writer/director David Mamet, who is best known for having his actors articulate each and every word – even the bad ones. “The Winslow Boy” takes place in England in the early 1920s, when 14-year-old cadet Ronnie Winslow (Guy Edwards) is expelled from the academy he attends upon accusation that he stole and cashed a five-shilling postal order. Ronnie’s sister Catherine (Rebecca Pidgeon), an active suffragette, and their father, Arthur Winslow (Nigel Hawthorne –who also contributed his voice to “Tarzan”), are quick to make a legal appeal on Ronnie’s behalf. Certain that Ronnie has not lied, Arthur takes the case to court, and time after time he loses. Having spent almost all of the family’s savings, they are surprised when big lawyer Sir Robert Morton (Jeremy Northam) accepts the case and brings it back to court.

Mamet, a celebrated playwright, adapts the screenplay from Terence Rattigan’s play. Last year Mamet brought us the superb and crafty film “The Spanish Prisoner.” “The Winslow Boy,” like “Tarzan,” is also rated “G,” and without counting documentaries, this is the first live-action “G”-rated movie in quite some time. Mamet has a way with words; not only does he make more than adequate use of those he chooses, but the way that the action takes place in the inflection in the actors’ voices. There’s no need for profanity or violence – Mamet tells it like it is.

“The Winslow Boy” also contains a wonderful cast. Rebecca Pidgeon, Mamet’s wife, appears as usual. There’s also much to be found in the performances by Nigel Hawthorne and Jeremy Northam. But although not used as much as possible, the best performance was found in the attractive pasty young Brit, Guy Edwards. Edwards showcased much talent, and I look forward in the future to his other screen contributions.

The best way to see it is probably while you're on a valium!

Final Verdict: B+

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originally posted: 11/28/99 17:47:47
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User Comments

10/29/07 mb loved it. Intelligent dialogue. Great acting. One of the best movies. 5 stars
6/19/06 chienne I did this play at school, this is an excellent film 5 stars
7/28/05 B.McGinnis Excellent, Memorable, Believalble 5 stars
11/21/04 Damson I saw the other version of this film and I believe it is better, though it's not bad. 3 stars
4/11/03 Jack Bourbon Sometimes simple is the best. 4 stars
9/29/02 Peter Sherlock Good stuff! 5 stars
8/30/02 chirpy well acted portrayal of search for justice at high cost 4 stars
11/18/01 Monster W. Kung Simply excellent. 5 stars
9/12/01 Reini Urban With "Land and Freedom" best british film since 30 years ("The Servant") 5 stars
2/14/00 toneely I loved this movie 5 stars
10/06/99 Mairi Thomas Superb acting, powerfully evocative of a time when greater justice was emerging for all. 5 stars
7/10/99 William McGrane This is a terrific movie. Pidgeon is wonderful. 5 stars
7/02/99 Costars Lovged it! Thought it was beautiful & subtle. Delighted it ended well. Too much Mamet. 4 stars
5/11/99 IF Magazine Those expecting a Mamet dialogue jackhammer will be disappointed. It's a lot more subtle. 4 stars
5/10/99 Mr Showbiz Whichever way you look at it, Mamet's adaption of Rattigan's famous play is a triumph. 5 stars
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  30-Apr-1999 (R)


  15-Jul-1999 (M)

Directed by
  David Mamet

Written by
  David Mamet
  Terence Rattigan

  Nigel Hawthorne
  Rebecca Pidgeon
  Jeremy Northam
  Gemma Jones

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