History Boys, The

Rating = B+

This film is very well done although the rapid fire English school boy dialog is often hard to understand and the long scene in French is opaque to one who doesn't speak French (although what is happening is reasonably clear). The topic is homosexuality in the British public (private, residential) schools for boys. The boys are shown as very clever and very aware of history, language, and culture, as well as what is going on around them and with themselves as they figure out their sexuality. Particularly interesting is the boys's great facility with language and their fond and respectful but not deferential interactions with those of their school masters who are excellent teachers. The nominal subject of the film is conflicting ways of learning and succeeding, but this conflict doesn't really work: the boys are too smart not to catch the benefits of the different approaches, and the three teachers themselves slyly admire what each of the others brings to the boys's educations.