[after his parents have left, thinking he is ill] "They bought it. Incredible! One of the worst performances of my…
Starter for 10
In 1985, against the backdrop of Thatcherism, Brian Jackson enrolls in the University of Bristol, a scholarship boy from seaside Essex with a love of knowledge for its own sake and a childhood spent watching "University Challenge," a college quiz show. At Bristol he tries out for the Challenge team and falls under the spell of Alice, a lovely blond with an extensive sexual past.
"You're a socialist, I thought you were all for the redistribution of wealth."
"Yes, by acquiring the means of production, not by just nicking stuff!"
As a lot of other people on here have pointed out, this really is a who's who of current British actors, featuring *deep breath* James McAvoy, Catherine Tate, Dominic Cooper, James Corden, Alice Eve, Mark Gatiss, Rebecca Hall, Charles fucking Dance and Benedict Cumberthing. Then all you have to do is add in a fantastic mid-80s soundtrack and a script that manages to be both genuinely funny and emotional, and you've got a coming-of-age movie that, while not being the best ever made, is definitely worth spending your time on.
Also, Benedict gets a long-overdue punch in the face. So there's that as well.
As I read about this before hand I was expecting for something that would exude charm and wit with an 80's soundtrack on top. While it does that quite well, but just ends up being predictable and slightly disappointing by the fact that it went the generic rom-com route of events most of the time. But it doesn't feel as tiresome as those films, instead it's a bit fresh and entertaining.
So thanks to the fun performances from James McAvoy, Catherine Tate, John Henshaw, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Dominic Cooper and 'alot' of Mr Charles Dance. That makes this very much enjoyable.
Gotta love an 80's soundtrack.
This film shouldn't be called "Starter for 10". It should be called "ATTACK OF THE FAMOUS BRITISH PEOPLE" or "The "Hey, it's that guy/gal"-film!". Because holy shit the amount of famous British people here is INSANE. James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall, Benedict Cumberbatch, that red-haired Doctor Who companion, the silly british Men in Black-agent from the 3rd film, MARK GATISS (and he shares a few select scenes with Cumberbatch, which I find HILARIOUS), Craig from "The Lodger"-episode of Doctor Who, Dominic Cooper and CHARLES DANCE FROM GAME OF THRONES! It is incredible.
Apart from that, this film is pretty damn good. McAvoy looks- erm, acts brilliant, gives a brilliant performance, along with Cumberbatch (my hero).…
Even though this is predictable and corny, it's still pretty funny. All of the scenes with Benedict Cumberbatch are hilarious. He is just golden. I kinda like to think this shows what Sherlock Holmes was doing in college before he got hooked on drugs. I mean, Mycroft is in this afterall. Anyway, along with Benny, there are some awesome actors like James McAvoy, Catherine Tate, Dominic Cooper, and Craig from Doctor Who that make this a worthwhile experience despite some obvious faults. Plus there's a great 80's soundtrack.
Though if there was one reason to see this, it's Benny. I'm not kidding. He is golden.
an artsy left wing twenty-something year old james mcavoy with wispy hair stripy jumpers and thick rimmed glasses saying "did u know that, under the bastard tories, 7% of the country currently own 84% of the wealth? it's the same old story; the rich get richer and the most vulnerable in our country suffer"
Watching it again for the umpteenth time on BBC2 now.
I have a soft spot for Starter For 10 because I read the book as soon as it came out. When the film was released I was charmed by it, but would argue it was not as good as the book. I still stand by that, though I think the casting is incredible; Rebecca Hall is a bit taller and probably prettier than the novel's Rebecca Epstein but she's utterly delightful and nails it completely. Indeed you could argue James McAvoy is shorter and prettier than the Brian you'd imagine too! Indeed everyone nails their parts perfectly and it really has become something of a who's who of British talent…
brian is me i want to be on uni challenge so much. Also rebecca hall's character is definitly gay and also my dream girl.
Ok coming of age comedy....extra points for a young Rebecca Hall. I have a bit of a Gregory's Girl "Claire Grogan" thing about her in this!
So I was going to watch this with my then-boyfriend like 3 years ago. Maybe I'd have appreciated it more then; instead, it stands out as so cliche and wholly unrelatable to my own university experience. Brian waxes off on how he's made so many mistakes. Trust me. You think those are major flaws in university? That's barely even fucking up.
But maybe Brian is similar to some people I know; the socialist whose socialism extends to wearing pin badges, and that's about it. But who really brings a tuxedo to university?
The film's editing is its most frustrating; rather than give Alice a voice, the editing slices through her descriptions of her former boyfriends, removing any sense of comic…
Cons: Everyone's hair is not shit and 80s enough, although James McAvoy's hair has a jolly good go.
Pros: Soundtrack. All films should have a mainly 80s soundtrack.
Also, Benedict Cumberbatch gets both punched and headbutted (sort of) which is definitely funny.
full disclosure i watched this for james mcavoy and james mcavoy only but i had a good time doing so Hey
British rom-com rich with easy-to-recognise embarrassments that make you cringe with laughter. Unlike the American variety, we laugh with our hero, not at him. There's simply no need for gross-out gags when you have James McAvoy giving such a wide-eyed, spirited performance as a clever but clueless university-bound boffin, whose tragic-comic bumbles reflect our own worst moments of foot-in-mouth uncool right back at us.
A warm and uplifting watch, Starter for 10 pulls off that almost impossible balance of heart and broad humour with such effortlessness, it'd be easy to take the film's not-insignificant craft for granted. Playing its genre conventions almost perfectly, the game-show finale offers a refreshing twist on the boy-meets-wrong-girl formula.
And ten years later, it's fascinating to see a young Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall completely stealing the film and making their current stardom seem so deserved in hindsight.
Fetus James and Benedict
Watched as part of Scavenger Hunt 20 November 2016
Task 22 - A film where the title references at least 3 people. Groups count as 1, unless the number is specified. (e.g. The Cook, the Theif, His Wife, and Her Lover / The Magnificent 7)
"This man has been sent from the offices of University Challenge!" - Patrick Watts
What I have loved about taking part in the scavenger hunt is the fact it is taking me out of my safety net of horror, documentary and cult films. It is allowing me to be more open with my choices and watching things that I always put to the back of the queue. The challenge took me to this…
Fantastic and a very surprising movie. There were parts of the movie that were very unpredictable and hence the comedy. A strong ensemble cast but that is with the hindsight of 10 years. Back then, I don't think all these actors were as famous as they are now. Strong performances by almost everyone in the movie especially Rebecca Hall (which is not surprising), Alice Eve, James McAvoy and Cumberbatch. Well that's pretty much the main cast. James Corden was there and completely unrecognizable.