Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is refreshing in that it is the story of an educator who does not act as an inspiration for her students, but may in fact be harming them. Starring Maggie Smith in her Academy Award winning role, she plays Jean Brodie a teacher at a British girl’s school in the 1930s. In addition to the usual reading, writing, and arithmetic, Miss Brodie teaches her students about the great fascist leaders Franco and Mussolini while detailing her personal life to her young students. As she catches the eye of one faculty member and longs for the affections of another, her class will be mislead, two particular students in truly disturbing ways. Though I’ve not read much about it, this must have been a daring film for its time, and is made all the more interesting by Smith’s fully realized portrayal of a complex character.