Summary: Quirky boarding school comedy 'Spud' finds a star in Troye Sivian and dusts off an old one by giving John Cleese his best part in years.
"Neither boy nor man" John Milton (Troye Sivan) has just started his first year at an elite boys only boarding school in South Africa in 1990.
It's home to a lot of white Brits - teachers and students - and has that kind of 'Dead Poets Society' vibe about it but what it lacks in inspirational speeches it makes up for with cheeky, heartfelt humour.
'Spud' rests a lot (growing up, sex, humour, sadness, yearning and learning) on its star. Troye Sivan is just about as good as Bud Cort was in 'Harold and Maude'. Filling the elder character slot is John Cleese - resurrected from years of guff with a brilliant turn as alcoholic, fiery English teacher Mr Edly.
The bond that forms between these two characters anchors the film with a sense of family that runs alongside all the usual cliches of the schoolboy genre - competition, pranks and life lessons.
'Spud' is a good film and one that doesn't dumb itself down for a younger audience. Well shot, acted, directed and granted a winning sense of place and tone, 'Spud' makes the grade.
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