St. Trinian’s Finally Hits U.S. Screens

It’s been nearly two years since the film’s release in the UK, but the remake of St. Trinian’s has finally arrived in theaters stateside. Set in an unruly girls’ school, the film stars a laundry list of British film actors like Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Russell Brand, Stephen Fry, Bond girl Gemma Arterton, and Fenella Woolgar (who played Meera Syal‘s lesbian lover on BBC AMERICA’s Jekyll).

But there’s also the curious Mischa Barton, who, in spite of being British-born, provides one of “The Worst British Accents Ever” according to Empire Online. She looks great in the movie, though. Not even a hint of the craziness that resulted in her forced hospitalization earlier this year.

The St. Trinian’s franchise has a long history in British pop culture. In the 1940s, illustrator Ronald Searle created the St. Trinian’s cartoon series about a fictional girls’ school constantly teetering on the edge of anarchy. Those cartoons became celebrated films in the 1950s, starting with The Belles of St. Trinian’s in 1954. Comic actor Alistair Sim played the school headmistress Miss Fritton (in full drag) and her brother Clarence.

Flash forward five decades, and Rupert Everett is playing Sim’s roles in the new version. Except Miss Fritton is now named Camilla (ahem), and Everett wears a frumpy platinum wig. Quite a step away from the suave roles Everett has been known for throughout his career.

Colin Firth plays the priggish Minister of Education determined to close St. Trinian’s down. Firth has often been relegated to playing variations of Mr. Darcy throughout his career. Here, he even gets another drenched-shirt scene, although the sight isn’t quite as marvelous to behold as it was 14 years ago.

If you’re looking for an iconic teen-queen movie like Mean Girls or Heathers, St. Trinian’s will leave you deeply unsatisfied. But I suspect many BBC AMERICA viewers will enjoy this one. If you like the demented chaos of The Young Ones and the gender-bending of Little Britain, St. Trinian’s will provide an amusing diversion for the weekend.

In other news:

  • Keira Knightley will make her West End debut in Molière‘s The Misanthrope, alongside that hot ginger Damian Lewis. (BBC)
  • The members of Radiohead say they are committed to making more albums. (NME)
  • Cue the collective “Yeah right”: Amy Winehouse will release her follow-up to the Grammy-winning Back To Black next year. (Guardian)
  • Robbie Williams‘ girlfriend wants his babies. (The Sun)
  • Who said this about Lily Allen? “The thing with Lily is, I think when you get your nipples out in GQ and you’re trying to make serious political comment with the government, you’re putting yourself in a silly position.”
  • David Hasselhoff accidentally “thumped” a doctor during a “booze bender” in London. (The Sun)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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