The infamous school for young ladies St Trinian's, is facing financial crisis. Art-loving headmistress Camilla Fritton (Rupert Everett) is facing a crisis of her own, and becomes a target for new Education Minister Geoffrey Thwaites (Colin Firth), who is a former flame from their college days. But the fearless St Trinian's girls vow to defend their beloved school to the bitter end with a daring plan by head girl Kelly (Gemma Arterton), new girl Annabelle (Talulah Riley), Flash Harry (Russell Brand) and teachers, to steal a famous painting from the National Gallery.
Review by Louise Keller:
The St Trinian girls (based on Ronald Searle's cartoons) were a shocking lot in their day (back in the 50s and 60s), but these days their antics feel rather tame. As a remake, St Trinian's relies on Rupert Everett's obvious zest at camping it up in dual roles to Colin Firth's straight man, and it is reasonable, bawdy fun in school tunics as it navigates to somewhat old fashioned English humour. There are some good ideas and a few laughs, but it's all a bit Camilla-one-note, as the unkempt schoolgirl horrors conspire to execute an audacious heist.
Everett's Camilla Fritton, sporting a blonde wig reminiscent of another Camilla, spits out lines through prominent teeth and indulges in 'me time' at the easel, brush in hand. 'Don't you think I make a remarkable queen?' she asks at one stagey moment, dressed as The Virgin Queen. Much of the film is unashamedly played for laughs with special emphasis on the scenes between Camilla and Colin Firth's stitched up education minister Geoffrey Thwaites. It is stretching the realms of possibility to believe that Camilla and Geoffrey were ever an item, but the concept is milked for all its worth. Yes, there is even a bedroom scene.
I like Gemma Arterton's head girl Kelly with Cleopatra hairstyle and scarlet lips and Talulah Riley's naïve new girl Annabelle (Everett also plays her snobbish art collector father), who makes the transition from wholesome victim to rowdy perpetrator with glee. Chaos reigns supreme at St Trinian's, where webcams hide in teddy bears, dog collars and hockey sticks, the chemistry lab is full of vodka and anger management classes teach shooting the heads of yellow duck targets. The film takes full flight during the heist with cute and clever filmic references and there's an underplayed cameo by Stephen Fry as the bored host of the School Challenge quiz. For the undemanding.
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ST TRINIAN'S (M)
CAST: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Lena Headey, Toby Jones, Celia Imrie, Anna Chaneloor
PRODUCER: Oliver Parker
DIRECTOR: Oliver Parker, Barnaby Thompson
SCRIPT: Piers Ashworth and Nick Moorcroft
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gavin Finney
EDITOR: Alex Mackie
MUSIC: Charlie Mole
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Amanda McArthur
RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 27, 2008