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Starter for 10 (2006)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 9 March 2007 (USA)
Set in 1985, working-class student Brian Jackson (McAvoy) navigates his first year at Bristol University.

Director:

Tom Vaughan

Writers:

David Nicholls (novel), David Nicholls (screenplay)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Friend Joseph Friend ... Young Brian
James Gaddas ... Martin Jackson
Catherine Tate ... Julie Jackson
Mark Gatiss ... Bamber Gascoigne
Robert Cawsey Robert Cawsey ... University Challenge Competitor
Rasmus Hardiker ... University Challenge Competitor
Guy Henry ... Dr. Morrison
James McAvoy ... Brian Jackson
James Corden ... Tone
Dominic Cooper ... Spencer
Simon Woods ... Josh
Sule Rimi ... Marcus
Joe Van Moyland Joe Van Moyland ... Hippy at the Party
Rebecca Hall ... Rebecca Epstein
Benedict Cumberbatch ... Patrick Watts
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Storyline

In 1985, against the backdrop of Thatcherism, Brian Jackson enrolls in the University of Bristol, a scholarship boy from seaside Essex with a love of knowledge for its own sake and a childhood spent watching "University Challenge," a college quiz show. At Bristol he tries out for the Challenge team and falls under the spell of Alice, a lovely blond with an extensive sexual past. He's smitten, and he carelessly manages to hurt the feelings of Rebecca Epstein, a friend whose politics and wit he admires. The Challenge finale is coming up; maybe Brian can redeem himself and still avoid being a prat. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language and a scene of drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Starter for 10 See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,141, 25 February 2007

Gross USA:

$216,839

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,730,047
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Benedict Cumberbatch later went on to star in the BBC drama series Sherlock (2010) which Mark Gatiss was the co-creator and also played Mycroft Holmes. See more »

Goofs

The quiz teams are shown answering questions in 2 picture rounds, but in 1985 there was only 1 picture round and 1 music round in each episode of University Challenge. The 2 picture round format is a recent innovation. See more »

Quotes

Tone: Are you shagging her then?
Brian Jackson: It's platonic.
Spencer: What does that mean?
Tone: Means she won't let him shag her.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits the theme music from the BBC program University Challenge (1962), which the title of the film refers to, is played. See more »

Connections

Featured in HBO First Look: Starter for 10 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Your Man
Performed by Wham!
Written by George Michael
Published by Chappell & Co. o/b/o Morrison-Leahy Music Ltd.
Courtesy of Columbia Records / Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK)
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some young British up and comings in a pleasant film
22 December 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Starter for 10" is a 2006 British film set in 1985 about a working class young man, Brian Jackson (James McAvoy) who attends Bristol University on scholarship and is accepted on the team of "University Challenge," a televised college quiz show. He's crazy for a hot blonde on the team, Alice (Alice Eve). After a disastrous post-Christmas visit to her house when his penchant for movie quotes gets him in trouble, he spends New Year's Eve with another girl, the more grounded and politically active Rebecca Epstein (Rebecca Hall) -- but when he wishes her Happy New Year, he calls her Alice. He has a habit of blowing it, and the best is yet to come.

I actually sought out this film because I am a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. Here, Cumberbatch plays the fastidious nerdy head of the College Quiz team (even though they keep losing), and he's hilarious. When he gets into a fight with one of Brian's friends from home, the guy punches him, and Cumberbatch's response is to start flapping his hands on him as if he's shaking out a dishtowel.

The acting in this film is very good, and it's interesting to see that all these young people have come up together. Cumberbatch and Eve are in the upcoming Star Trek; Rebecca Hall and Cumberbatch starred in the miniseries "Parade's End," and McAvoy, of course, has had a marvelous career, making a splash in films right around the time this film was released. The supporting cast is led by the wonderful Lindsay Duncan and Charles Dance as Alice's parents, and Catherine Tate as Brian's mother.

While "Starter for 10" is a little predictable, it has a nice quality about it and gives one a feel for university life, leaving home, meeting new people, and the adjustments that need to be made.


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