Starter for 10

Don't mind the featherweight plot. A cheeky comedy with sex and smarts arns passing grade. James McAvoy (The Last King of Scotland) is a live ire as Brian, a working-class lad who leaves his Essex mates (Dominic ooper and James Corden) to join the snobs at Bristol University. The year is 1985, when University Challenge (a TV quiz show modeled on College owl) lets Brian show off his knowledge, impress a hot blonde (Alice ve) and lose his heart to a firebrand (enchantress Rebecca Hall, a true ind of an actress). All the actors are spot on, with special shout-outs o Catherine Tate as Brian's widowed mum and Benedict Cumberbatch as he hilariously pompous captain of the Bristol TV team. Tom Hanks, whose company produced, also deserves high marks for allowing writer David Nicholls, who adapted his own novel, and director Tom Vaughan, both Bristol alums, to stay true to their class-conscious British roots. Jolly good show.

From The Archives Issue 116: August 31, 1972