Brian (James McAvoy) is from a working class family living in a sleepy seaside town in England. It's 1985 and he sets off for his first term at university in Bristol. He is a geeky kid with no previous exposure to the world beyond his hometown. Now he meets new people, makes friends, flirts awkwardly, goes on dates, makes all kinds of embarrassing mistakes and slowly discovers how the world really works.
However, his greatest ambition while at uni is to become a member of the team competing at the popular televised University Challenge quiz. He does make the team and there is a bit of fun to be had for anybody familiar with the program. The filmmakers are having their fun with the quiz team, including beside nerdy Brian pompous but rather useless team captain Patrick (Benedict Cumberbatch), a serious Asian girl, and drop dead gorgeous drama student Alice, intent on being discovered for a future career in TV. There's quite a bit of subtle satire here.
The cast is fantastic, with James McAvoy giving a very engaging performance as Brian. However, it is Benedict Cumberbatch as the rather unlikable quiz team captain who absolutely steals the show. He is absolutely hilarious. Also in there is heartthrob Dominic Cooper, playing Brian's lifelong friend Spence, who is a bit of a bad boy. A very hunky one though. Lindsay Duncan and the great Charles Dance have rather fun small roles as parents of the gorgeous Alice. The script is excellent and the many embarrassing and angst laden scenes are eminently relatable for anybody who has ever been an insecure young student. Overall a nice little coming of age film. Probably best enjoyed by those remember that rather bizarre decade that was the 80s and who enjoy a bit of nostalgia.
The DVD has English subtitles for those who may need them and the extras include a trailer, an interactive 80s quiz and numerous in depth interviews with the director, writer and cast (among them James McAvoy, Rebecca Hall, Alice Eve, Dominic Cooper, Lindsay Duncan).
- Format: Blu-ray, DVD, Import, Multiple Formats
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: All Regions
- Number of discs: 1
- Studio: ICON Entertainment
- DVD Release Date: 8 Dec 2008
- Customer Reviews:
- ASIN: B001MK9ZJ4