Saturday, August 8, 2009


By D.E.Levine

Directors: Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson
Writers: Piers Ashworth, James Minoprio, Nick Moorcroft, Jonathan M. Stern and Ronald Searle (original cartoons)
Producers: Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson
Executive Producers: Rupert Everett, Nigel Green and James Spring
Co-producer: Mark Hubbard
Associate Producer: Sophie Meyer
Cast: Talulah Riley, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Jodie Whittaker, Gemma Artherton, Kathryn Drysdale, Juno Temple, Antonio Bernath, Amara Karan, Tamsin Egerton, Lily Cole, Paloma Faith, Holly Mackie, Chloe Mackie et al.
Music: Charlie Mole
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Language: English
Genre: Comedy

English satirist Ronald Searle originally created St. Trinian's in a series of cartoons during the 1940s. Twenty years after that the concept became a series of films, with the last sequel in 1980.

This newest film is a modern remake that transports the school into present day and attempts to update the girl characters by placing them in cliques.

Since St. Trinian's has financial woes, the girls must use their cunning and their criminal minds to raise enough money to save the school and keep it open.

What do the girls decide to do? They plan to steal Vermeer's "Girl With A Pearl Earring," sell it on the black market and raise the money that way.

Rupert Everett plays a double role as the father of the newest pupil, and brother to the headmistress (which he does in drag).

Everett is extremely funny as an upper-class lady, gin-soaked and fallen on hard times. Scenes between him and the education minister (a former lover played by Colin Firth) are extremely funny.

Unfortunately, the other performances focusing on the pupils' problems don't measure up. The film as a whole isn't that funny. Instead of being a celebration of English eccentricity, non-conformity and decadence of the posh, this update offers a series of social cliches.

There are several instances where adult humor is right next to jokes and scenes meant for the tween audience, and it makes for uncomfortable viewing. Younger girls probably won't notice the juxtaposition but on the whole, the film misses its mark.