Born in Edgbaston, Julie Walters is undoubtedly one of the finest actresses to ever come out of the Midlands. Her early work with Victoria Wood showed off her broad comic chops, but it was her Oscar nominated turn in 80s comedy drama Educating Rita that showed just what a versatile performer she is, moving from laughs to tears in seconds.
Walters stars as the title character Rita, a witty, working class British hairdresser who decides to seek an education at Open University. Rita needs a tutor and selects Dr. Frank Bryant (Michael Caine), an alcoholic college literature professor whose life is a shambles.
Divorced, Bryant's new lover is now having an affair with his best friend and he's increasingly depressed, seeking solace in whisky. As Rita blooms intellectually under the tutelage of Bryant, she realizes that what she really lacks is self-confidence, and a gentle romance blossoms between her and Bryant.
Comedy Genius is a celebration of comedy on screen, led by BFI, the Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience network, supported by funds from the National Lottery.
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