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An unruly class of gifted and charming teenage boys are taught by two eccentric and innovative teachers, as their headmaster pushes for them all to get accepted into Oxford or Cambridge.

When a 1980s class achieves the best scores ever at Cutlers' Grammar School for boys in Sheffield (Yorkshire, northern England), the petty headmaster, who craves the prestige like the parents, recruits a young Oxford graduate, Irwin, to prepare them for the general entry exams for the world class universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He stresses that takes not just delivering what all schools prepare for, but -if they even really want to go- standing out by a different approach and perspective: surprising quotations and associations, the other side of the coin, witty phrasing... Actually good foundations were laid by the current staff, less by history teacher Dorothy Lintott, a frustrated liberal feminist without actual impact, than by the enthusiasm-arousing 'Hector' in General Studies, who gets their attention and makes them think trough literature, open discussion, role-play and performing declamation and song, at both of which the only Jewish (like the Muslim, fully integrated) boy, sensitive gentle gay David, excels. Alas, when the headmaster learns that the caring, paternal Hector once innocently touched a boy's privates, he insists on 'graceful' early retirement, a personal drama with surprising twists in the end. Meanwhile the irresistible class flirt, Dakin, skilfully tests all borders including his and Irwin's sexual orientation, and all consider what they really aspire and care for, in studies and life.


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