Private schools provide a safe learning environment with smaller class sizes and more significant one-on-one interaction between teachers and pupils, creating an ideal setting in which children can explore their passions and discover unique talents.
Boarding school movies cover an array of genres, spanning drama and comedy. Classic examples such as Dead Poets Society can be found alongside more modern ones like Private School from 1983.
1. Dead Poets Society (1993)
Dead Poets Society follows a group of students at a private school who discover an engaging teacher. While not a new concept for the film, Dead Poets Society successfully portrays this trope by showing how oppressive teaching methods can lead to student revolt.
The film takes place at Welton Academy, a fictional elite boarding school. Students meet their new English teacher, Mr. Keating (Robin Williams), who has a reputation for being an unconventional educator. Keating tells his students he belonged to an unsanctioned Dead Poets Society while at Welton and encourages his pupils to read poetry and live life according to their terms. They quickly fall under his spell, soon meeting outside class hours in secret locations off-campus, where they read poems together in caves off-campus after class hours!
Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard), one of the rebellious students, finds inspiration from Keating and decides against attending medical school as his father wants him to. Instead, he chooses to act and accepts the role of Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream, which receives rave reviews from its audience, much to his father’s anger, who threatens to transfer him to military school unless his decision changes.
Keating’s teaching helps the rebellious group of students develop into individuals. However, his “carpe diem” philosophy leads one student to commit suicide.
2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (1988)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s beloved novel of the same name, chronicling freshman Charlie as he navigates high school life – an introverted yet observant teenager who keeps most of his thoughts to himself until meeting two seniors named Sam and Patrick who take him under their wing to show him all its peculiarities, joys, pains, romances and heartbreaks.
The novel and movie Both tell the tale of a young man struggling with past traumas, with The Perks of Being a Wallflower garnering praise for accurately depicting symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in its characters while providing an encouraging depiction of psychiatry that’s usually absent in Hollywood films.
Logan Lerman and Emma Watson excel as Charlie and Sam in this epistolary-format film that tells its tale through letters. It captures what it’s like being a teenager today while remaining humorous and heartbreaking all at the same time.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower offers an engaging, timeless story that is relatable not only to today’s teenagers but also to anyone who may have experienced similar hardships in their youth. It is a must-see film for anyone seeking an understanding of what it means to be a teenager today: an emotional tale that will stay with viewers long after the credits roll, an essential viewing for both teenagers and parents as it opens them up to the world they may have never known about, forever altering perspectives on life.
4. The School of Rock (1998)
Jack Black made himself a household name by wearing a bow tie and entering a prep school where he told its students to “get rid of Led.” School of Rock not only became one of the most successful movies ever made, but it spawned both a Broadway musical and Nickelodeon series; its impact still touches young kids today.
Director Richard Linklater has previously made critically acclaimed but limitedly attended films such as Before Sunrise and Waking Life; School of Rock is his latest attempt to gain some box office clout; unfortunately, however, its feel-good fare consists of generic cliches with predictable plot contrivances and underdeveloped characters.
Parents should be wary that this movie features sexually explicit language and plenty of sexually explicit scenes, making it unsuitable for younger viewers. The one saving grace in this film lies with its performances of children: some standout performances include shy Tomika’s ascension to co-lead vocalist, Lawrence worrying that he doesn’t have enough talent, and Zack, whose overbearing father disapproves of his rock music interest.
Miranda Cosgrove made her big-screen debut as Summer, the class representative who attempts to gain entry for her band in a Battle of the Bands contest. Maryam Hassan debuted as Tomika, playing shy at first but later showing Dewey how powerful her pipes really are, earning an accolade from him – “Nice pipes, Tomika!” from Dewey himself! Additionally, this film featured cameo appearances by Joan Cusack and Sarah Silverman – two great comedic actors!
5. The Boarding School (2004)
Gerard Jugnot stars and co-produces this film, mortgaging his Paris apartment to finance it and becoming the highest-paid French actor of 2004 for this work. Director Christophe Barratier and screenwriter Philippe Lopes-Curval deliver all the excitement you’d expect from a tale of reform school mystery and adventure, complete with an exceptional cast. This excellent drama makes a fantastic viewing experience!