Educating Rita (Remastered) [DVD]
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Working-class hairdresser Rita (Julie Walters) enrols for an adult education course in literature at her local university, determined to expand her mind. She is assigned alcoholic lecturer Dr Frank Bryant (Michael Caine), and as Rita's horizons broaden she begins to feel stifled by her home life. Simultaneously, Frank's academic career takes a turn for the worse as his drinking increases. Caine and Walters both received Oscar nominations, as did Willy Russell's screenplay.
Michael Caine and the knockout Julie Walters deliver a pair of wonderful performances in this endearingly bittersweet tale of a boozily burnt-out professor's tutoring of (and subsequent tutoring by) a free-spirited hairdresser determined to improve her lot in life. The basic plot won't exactly surprise anyone who's ever seen a movie before but the ace cast (particularly Caine, who's rarely this subtle) continually finds new directions to spin off from the rather rote path. Although the end result is perhaps just a little too convinced of its own adorability to attain classic status, this remains a rarity in the genre--a feel-good film that earns its emotions honestly. A nice change of pace for director Lewis Gilbert, who is perhaps better known for his contributions to the James Bond series. --Andrew WrightSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Educating Rita is a 1983 drama/comedy film directed by Lewis Gilbert with a screenplay by Willy Russell based on Russell's stage play. The film stars Michael Caine, Julie Walters, and Maureen Lipman. It won multiple major awards for best actor and best actress and was nominated for three Oscars.
Liverpudlian working-class young woman Rita (Walters) wants to better herself by studying literature. Her assigned Open University professor, Frank Bryant (Caine), however, has long ago openly taken to the bottle, and soon develops misgivings about Rita's ability to adapt to academia. Bryant is a jaded university lecturer, who describes his occupational ability as 'appalling but good enough for his appalling students'. His passion for literature is reignited by Rita, whose technical ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education but whose enthusiasm Frank finds refreshing.
The film focuses on Rita's unhappiness with her life in her blue-collar, working-class environment including with her husband who wants to have a family, as well as her struggles to fit into a new educated middle-class existence in academia, while seeking a "better song to sing". Rita's original preconceptions that the educated classes have better lives and are happier people are brought into question throughout the film through Frank's failing social life and alcoholism and her flatmate Trish's attempted suicide. Rita, her search, and her search's meaning for her all evolve as she adapts to academia and grows as a person.
Despite not having seen this film before buying it on DVD, I really enjoyed watching Educating Rita, a film which relied on a very well-written storyline and very good direction, and also relied on a wealth of talented actors.Read more ›
Both of the lead characters are expertly played as vulnerable, confused and complicated personalities, Rita looking for something new, a challenge to stretch and find herself whilst Frank has settled for a drunken path of least resistance and is suddenly awoken by the fresh purity and honesty of Rita's take on various pieces of 'deep' classical English Literature and life in general.
As the story evolves and they spark new interests in each other about the world around them, they both blossom for a while and then nearly fall to the bottom of the pit again before getting their acts together in a common cause in the end. Overall it is an uplifting film about breaking away from a rut and discovering what you want out of life rather than the role others expect you to play in life.
This is a heart warming, often funny, sometimes sad, and utilmately uplifting, look at the lotteries of life, and how we can escape the roles assigned to us - even those assigned by ourselves
A wonderful film - well worth watching for the first time - or again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This Classic, Educating Rita, is a must-have in anyone's DVD library. Absolutely brilliant.Published 26 days ago by Dorothy F. Harrison
Received the item today, looked to new/shrinkwrapped. Only to find that the disc inside is a disc from 'the Michael Caine collection' disgusting that I was charged for the original... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gemma Shore