Educating Rita (movie)
|Directed by||Lewis Gilbert|
|Produced by||Lewis Gilbert|
|Screenplay by||Willy Russell|
|Based on||Educating Rita|
by Willy Russell
|Music by||David Hentschel|
|Edited by||Garth Craven|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$14.6 million (US)|
Educating Rita is a British 1983 drama/comedy film directed by Lewis Gilbert. The screenplay is by Willy Russell based on his 1980 stage play. The film stars Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Michael Williams and Maureen Lipman. It won multiple major awards for best actor and best actress and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
Plot[change | change source]
Rita (Julie Walters) is a 26-year-old Liverpudlian working-class hairdresser. She is dissatisfied with the routine of her work. She is reluctant to have a child. She fears it will tie her to the same monotonous routine for life. She yearns to escape to something, without exactly knowing what that is. She signs up for an Open University course in English Literature. Her assigned tutor is Frank Bryant (Michael Caine). Bryant is a jaded university lecturer. He describes his abilities as "appalling but good enough for his appalling students". His passion for literature is reignited by Rita. Her ability for the subject is limited by her lack of education. Frank finds her enthusiasm refreshing. Frank's cynicism returns as he notices Rita beginning to adopt the pretensions of the university culture he despises. The film ends with Frank being sent to Australia.
Cast[change | change source]
- Michael Caine as Professor Frank Bryant
- Julie Walters as Susan "Rita" White
- Michael Williams as Brian
- Dearbhla Molloy as Elaine
- Jeananne Crowley as Julia, Frank's girlfriend
- Malcolm Douglas as Denny White, Rita's husband
- Godfrey Quigley as Rita's father
- Patricia Jeffares as Rita's mother
- Maeve Germaine as Sandra, Rita's sister
- Maureen Lipman as Trish, Rita's roommate
- Gerry Sullivan as Security Officer
- Pat Daly as Bursar
- Kim Fortune as Collins
- Philip Hurdwood as Tiger
- Hilary Reynolds as Lesley
- Jack Walsh as Price
- Christopher Casson as Professor
- Gabrielle Reidy as Barbara
- Des Nealon as Invigilator
- Marie Conmee as Customer in Hairdresser's
- Oliver Maguire as Tutor
- Derry Power as Photographer
- Alan Stanford as Bistro Manager
Production[change | change source]
Lewis Gilbert says it was difficult to raise finance for the film. "Columbia wanted me to cast Dolly Parton as Rita". Julie Walters, in her feature-film debut, reprised her role from the stage production.
The film was shot in Dublin. Trinity College, Dublin, is used as the setting for the university. University College Dublin, in Belfield, Dublin, is used for Rita's summer school. The room used by Bryant as his office is in the College Historical Society. The room used by Bryant as his tutorial room is in the University Philosophical Society. The production left portraits of Douglas Hyde and Isaac Butt, and a bust of John Pentland Mahaffy on display. Number 8 Hogan Avenue in Dublin near Grand Canal Dock was used for Rita's house. A house in Burlington Road, Ballsbridge was used for Bryant's. The scene set in France was filmed in Maynooth, County Kildare. Pearse Station and Dublin Airport were also used. The scene in the pub was shot in The Stag's Head pub on Dame Court in Dublin.
Reception[change | change source]
Critics[change | change source]
Chicago critic Roger Ebert gave the film two stars out of four. He said Russell's screen adaptation "added mistresses, colleagues, husbands, in-laws, students and a faculty committee, [that were] all unnecessary".
Awards and nominations[change | change source]
Academy Awards[change | change source]
- Academy Award for Best Actor (Michael Caine) - Nominated
- Academy Award for Best Actress (Julie Walters) - Nominated
- Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Willy Russell) - Nominated
Golden Globe Awards[change | change source]
- Golden Globe Award for Best English-Language Foreign Film - Nominated
- Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Michael Caine) - Won
- Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy (Julie Walters) - Won
- Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay (Willy Russell) - Nominated
British Academy Film Awards[change | change source]
- BAFTA Award for Best Film - Won
- BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Michael Caine) - Won
- BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role (Julie Walters) - Won
- BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Maureen Lipman) - Nominated
- BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles (Julie Walters) - Nominated
- BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Willy Russell)
National Board of Review[change | change source]
Retrospective assessments[change | change source]
In 1999, the film was among the BFI Top 100 British films.
Home media[change | change source]
Proposed remake[change | change source]
In November 2002, the then-82-year-old director Lewis Gilbert said he would like to remake it "with a black cast that could include Halle Berry and Denzel Washington". principal photography was to commence in 2003. The project was abandoned.
References[change | change source]
- "The Chancellor Strikes Back." Sunday Times [London, England] 8 Apr. 1984: 33+. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.
- "Educating Rita". The Numbers. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "Educating Rita". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- British Film Institute - Top 100 British Films (1999). Retrieved 27 October 2017
- "Of human Bondage". The Guardian. 9 March 2000 – via The Guardian.
- "Educating Rita film locations". Reelstreets.com. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- "Educating Rita (UK)". Variety. 31 December 1982. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
- Nathan, Ian (1 January 2000). "Educating Rita". Empire. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
- Maslin, Janet (21 September 1983). "Educating Rita (1983)". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- Ebert, Roger (28 October 1983). "Educating Rita". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 21 May 2011.
- "Sleuth – Sir Michael Caine interview". IndieLondon.co.uk. Retrieved 7 August 2010.
- "In brief: Black cast for Educating Rita remake". The Guardian. 15 November 2002. Retrieved 7 August 2010.