How much would it cost these days to put together a star studded cast of the same quality as Educating Rita‘s?
The list of stars is like a who’s who of the acting world with Michael Caine and Julie Walters taking centre stage, ably supported by the likes of Maureen Lipman, Michael Williams, Jeananne Crowley and Malcolm Douglas. Julie Walters was a star in the making before this film was released in 1983, and this was the break which catapulted her to super-stardom.
The film tells the rags to riches tale of a hairdresser who dreams of changing her life through the medium of education. She’s volatile, she’s aggressive and she’s rude, but she has the brains and the foresight to see where she wants to go and how she will get there.
She strikes up a bizarre relationship with a drunken lecturer played by Michael Caine and together they push ‘Rita’ to the limit. The acting is excellent, the storyline is pure Pygmalion and the comedy is in a league of its own. Educating Rita is one of those films where you often know what is coming next but it still makes for addictive viewing. Julie Walters was nominated for an Oscar for her role in this film and even though it may be 25 years old it is still popular.
Julie Walters and Michael Caine have been at the top of the UK acting tree for many years and both managed to crack the difficult US market. They are talented, they are funny and after Educating Rita was first shown on TV they attracted many new fans.
Catch this classic tonight on BBC1 at 23:15.