Saturday, 21 March 2015

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)


"She’s trying to intimidate me with quarter hours! 
So says Maggie Smith’s Jean Brodie, a teacher in an Edinburgh girls' school in the 1930s.  Miss Brodie isn’t really a loose cannon, but she doesn’t really stick to the curriculum either.  As such, Maggie Smith is perfect.
Oh dear. I watched this back in March (when I wrote the above intro); pretty shocking that I didn't get round to reviewing this film at the time.  I do remember that Maggie Smith's performance was tremendous; as the dynamic, romantic young teacher who could influence her girls, she is mesmerising.  As a support, Gordon Jackson's music teacher managed to hold his own against Smith's vivacious character, but it is the girls who are the focus rather than the potential love interest.
The girls in Miss Brodie's class, particularly the main four who make up the "Brodie set", are all very good.  Pamela Franklin who plays Sandy gives a very measured performance, and arguably has more of a story arc than anyone else, as her impressionable school girl matures and sees Miss Brodie for who she really is.
A grand little film with a towering performance from Maggie Smith.  I just wish I could remember more of it without plagiarising IMDb or Wikipedia!  But, you know, that's just, like, my opinion man.