Sunday 23 April 2006

Dead Poets Society (1989) - ickleReview (TV)

Inspirational ensemble piece about a New England prep school in the 1950s. Robin Williams gives a charming performance as Mr Keating, the English teacher with unconventional teaching methods, imbuing his pupils with a zest for life and a will to independent thought. (He reminds me of my own Mr Williams at Merchiston Castle School.) A strong cast includes Ethan Hawke as Todd Anderson, a shy boy of great potential, who blossoms under Keating's tutelage; Robert Sean Leonard as his father-pecked roommate; Kurtwood Smith as the father; and Josh Charles, amongst a whole classful of vivid characters.

This is a feelgood film and a potential tear-jerker; but was a little more twee than I remembered from previous viewings. The Dead Poets Society (surely that needs a plural apostrophe?) is a clandestine reading group revived by Keating's pupils, following in his own tradition as an alumni of their school.

Nugget: Williams's most endearing performance?

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