"Sad but predictable film about abuse in an Irish Catholic School"
PREVIEW OF THE EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Reviewed from advance video copy). Based on a true story of physical and sexual abuse in an Irish Catholic School, this was never going to be a laugh-riot.William Franklin is the new teacher at an Irish Catholic School for boys. With a different attitude to teaching, he brings encouragement and support (both academical and personal) to the boys, something they have never experienced before.
For years, the other teachers have been allowed to abuse the children sexually and physically, but now it's time for a change.
It's the classic 'nice guy takes on the system and beats it' story. Mr Franklin teaches the children to read and tries to get them to look forward to life after school. Meanwhile, the evil Brother John tries to get rid of Franklin and turn the children against him. Nothing terribly original here. Even though it is quite predictable, the fact that it's based on a true story adds some emotional impact.
Worth watching for the good performances from both adults and children. What lets the film down is the extremely cheesy ending, not only reminiscent of but completely lifted from Dead Poet's Society.Very depressing, and you can't help but feel that the children that had to go through this hell in real life are cheated by the happy ending
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.