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Starter for 10 is a British/American film directed by Tom Vaughan from a screenplay by David Nicholls, adapted from his own novel Starter for Ten. The film stars James McAvoy as Brian Jackson, a university student who wins a place on a University Challenge quiz team. It premiered at the Toronto Film Festivalmarker in September 2006, and was released in the UK and Ireland on November 10, 2006, and in the US and Canada on February 23, 2007.

Plot

A period comedy set in 1985, the story chronicles the misadventures of Brian Jackson (James McAvoy), a student in his first year at Bristol Universitymarker. A somewhat obsessive collector of general knowledge, Brian has been a fan since childhood of University Challenge. That TV show's famous catchphrase—"Your starter for 10"—gives the film its title. Upon arriving at university, he seizes upon the opportunity to join Bristol's University Challenge team. He promptly falls for his glamorous teammate Alice (Alice Eve), though he may have more in common with a counterculturalist chum, Rebecca (Rebecca Hall). Additionally, Brian finds himself caught between his new life, amongst the posh university set, and his old, with his working-class family and friends in the seaside town of Southendmarker, Essex.

Cast

Brian's working-class hometown mates are played by Dominic Cooper and James Corden. The two actors starred as working-class schoolmates in both the stage and film versions of The History Boys.



Production

Despite being set at Bristol University, the main quad and Gustave Tuck lecture theatre of University College Londonmarker were used as sets. The University of Bristol Students Union building is in fact the university's School of Chemistry. The Granada TV studios, are actually at the back of BBC Television Centremarker: the corridor (actually leading to the BBC Multi Storey Car Park) was transformed for a day for the filming in 2005 with the addition of a GTV logo and pictures of past stars. The buildings at the end where a demonstration was held in which Brian tells Rebecca how much he likes her is the Queen Mary Court and King William Court at the University of Greenwichmarker. Brian's home is shown as a quaint seaside cottage, supposedly located in Westcliff-on-Seamarker. These scenes were actually filmed in the small village of Jaywickmarker, near Clacton-on-Seamarker, with the real Westcliff bearing little resemblance to its onscreen depiction. Claton Pier was used for the scenes set on the pier at Southend-on-Seamarker.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack features music from Kate Bush, The Cure, The Psychedelic Furs, The Buzzcocks, Yazoo, Motörhead, The Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Undertones, Tears for Fears, The Style Council and others. The song "Ace of Spades", which appears at the beginning of the film, was performed by Motörhead in the "Bambi" episode of The Young Ones that included the University Challenge spoof.

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