James Wood's sharp adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's deliciously satirical Decline and Fall is an oft hilarious period comedy, featuring brilliant dialogue, wonderfully ridiculous turns of plot, and a raft of decidedly memorable scene-stealing supporting turns.
"Paul Pennyfeather, a dedicated divinity student set upon a quiet life of contemplation as a priest, is unceremoniously expelled from Oxford University through no fault of his own. This kickstarts a series of disastrous events that no-one, least of all Paul, could have anticipated. Without a private fortune to fall back on, Paul is forced to take a position as a teacher at a substandard boarding school in rural Wales. All too quickly it becomes apparent that Paul is not a natural disciplinarian. He finds scant comfort in drinking to excess with the other teachers. Things start to look up, however, when Paul meets Margot Beste-Chetwynde, a wealthy widow and a mother to one of the boys at the school. Could it be that the attraction Paul feels for Margot is returned? Could his fortunes be changing?" Acorn Media