Posted by: greercn | December 21, 2009

St Trinian’s 2 – The Legend of Fritton’s Gold

This movie is a great and unexpected delight of the pre-Christmas 2009 releases. It won’t provoke any intellectual thought nor will it create any new cinema conventions. Yet it engages your heart and makes you laugh out loud.

The plot is straightforward. Two rings hold the key to a pirate treasure, stolen by an ancestor of St Trinian’s headmistress Camilla Tritton (the utterly wonderful Rupert Everett) from an ancestor of the Bad Guy (played by current but shortly to exit Doctor Who, David Tennant). Colin Firth reprises his role as Camilla’s love interest Thwaites and Gemma Arterton is former Head Girl Kelly Jones, drafted into action again to help the school.

Finding the ring is possible in the school’s library (“St Trinian’s has a library ? “says a girl, wonderingly) and cobwebs are shoved away in the search for clues. Then follows a romp in the great tradition of British farce, pulling in glorious set pieces using Liverpool Street train station, The Globe theatre and Tower Bridge.

Oliver Parker (Dorian Gray) directs again and  his deftness ensures the action is fast-paced. Of the glorious girls, Zawe Ashton shines as Bianca and Talulah Riley brings great fun to her Annabel Fritton role, both as the new Head Girl and within demonic possession .

The film keeps the heart and spirit of Ronald Searle’s anarchic girls and teachers and takes you away from daily life. I dreaded 2007’s remake of the St Trinian’s films – I really love those old movies – but this franchise breathes new life and soul into the stories and has a wonderful female slant to it. There weren’t a lot of guys in the cinema.

The Stratford Picture House in east London had a problem with its heating on this, one of the coldest nights of the year. It was snowing outside but I think it was slightly warmer outside than inside. The management did address the problem, but they did succeed in making you feel you were in a very old school full of draughts. It’s the first time I have ever kept gloves on, in a cinema. I don’t recommend eating nachos with cheese in this way.

It’s fun. It rattles along. It uses London and its energetic cast well. Hey, the script is a lot deeper than that of “Avatar” and everyone seems to bre thoroughly enjoying themselves in the film. Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding plays a cool new girl with great visual style and Celia Imrie is wonderful at being puzzled, observing the action with scatty warmth.

But this movie belongs to Rupert Everett, who just gets better and better with time. He makes camp cross-dressing look like the coolest gig in town. He manages this with gentleness and grace in a mainstream movie and owns this film. He is a really beautiful older woman with sex appeal. What a great role model for older women he is.

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Responses

  1. Sounds like a pathetic, brainless, juvenile affair to me. I can’t believe you enjoyed it.
    PS: Is the DVD out soon, please, please?


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