Dead Poets Society (1989) Film Review


Mr Keating (Robin Williams) is the new teacher at an exclusive private school in Vermont in 1959, shaping the minds of future doctors and lawyers and businessmen. But he believes in living life to the full: Carpe Diem. This is appealing to some of his students, but many parents and staff and less than impressed, especially when tragedy ensues.

I think I saw this film six times in the cinema when it was released. I loved the hope and the rebellion, and (let’s face it) I loved the handsome young men trying to find their paths. I was pleased to discover that it very much held up for me. Perhaps part of that is the memories it brings back, but I do think it is a very good film. Funny (and I will certainly say that some of the classroom scenes are bit over-the-top in the Robin Williams humour) and sad. There are certainly some elements in the film that feel a bit clichéd and twee, but I don’t care. When Josh Charles’ character strokes the girl’s hair, when Robert Sean Leonard’s character flings a desk set from the roof, when Ethan Hawke’s character yawps; these things all give me joy.

Dead Poets Society won an Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen (Tom Schulman) and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Robin Williams) and Best Director.

In Treatment -TV Review


HBO television series are great. I think I can safely say that I have enjoyed every HBO series that I have watched.

In Treatment consists of half hour (well, about 21 minute) episodes following the sessions of psychiatrist Dr Paul Weston(Gabrielle Byrne). Season one, which I have almost finished, goes through nine weeks, with each episode following particular patients. There is Laura (Melissa George) who has fallen in love with him, Alex(Blair Underwood) a pilot in the armed services who dropped a bomb in Afghanistan that killed a group of children in a school, Sophie (Mia Wasikowska), a teenage gymnast and Olympic hopeful who needs a psych assessment after a car accident and couple therapy for Jake(Josh Charles) and Amy (Embeth Davidtz),a couple who have fallen pregnant after a long series of attempts but are now considering termination. On top of this, Paul visits Dr Gina Toll (Diane Wiest) his own psychiatrist, to deal with his marriage which is in trouble, plus the issues he has with his patients.

It’s very, very good. Very, very, very good. All of the actors are magnificent in their roles, and the characters are frustratingly real. I found myself getting very annoyed at their behaviour and having to remind myself that they are in therapy for a reason. More often than not, this very annoying behaviour. The short drama format is great, too, especially with each episode generally based in one location and focused on one conversation.

I cheated a little and have looked to the episode titles of the next season, and was very disappointed to see that it is a whole new bunch of patients. I’ll miss these guys. But I look forward to the next two seasons.

Gabriel Byrne won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama in 2009. Blair Underwood, Dianne Wiest and Melissa George were all nominated for Support Golden Globe awards.