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Starter for 10 is a 2006 British comedy-drama film directed by Tom Vaughan from a screenplay by David Nicholls, adapted from his 2003 novel Starter for Ten. The film stars James McAvoy as a university student who wins a place on a University Challenge quiz team. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2006, and was released in the UK and Ireland on 10 November 2006, and in Canada and the US on 23 February 2007.

Starter for 10
US release poster
Directed byTom Vaughan
Written byDavid Nicholls
Based onStarter for Ten by David Nicholls
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyAshley Rowe
Edited byHeather Persons
Music byBlake Neely
Production
companies
Distributed byIcon Film Distribution (United Kingdom)
Picturehouse (United States)
Release date
  • 10 November 2006 (2006-11-10)
Running time
92 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$1.7 million

Contents

In 1985, Brian Jackson is a first-year university student and information sponge. Since his working-class childhood in Southend-on-Sea, Brian has loved the TV quiz show University Challenge, with its catchphrase, "Your starter for 10...". Soon after arriving at Bristol University, Brian attends a party where he meets left-wing Rebecca, with whom he feels an instant connection. Brian attempts to join the University Challenge team, but narrowly fails to secure a place when he helps another candidate, Alice, cheat on the qualifying test. Brian falls for the glamorous Alice and tries to date her, despite her signals that she sees him as a friend. As term starts, Brian is invited to join the team after a member falls ill. The captain, Patrick, is a stuck-up post-grad who has remained captain despite never having achieved success on University Challenge. Brian impresses the team with his trivia knowledge and uses his time to get closer to Alice, eventually getting invited to her house for Christmas. Unfortunately, Brian embarrasses himself in front of her family by getting stoned while trying to impress Alice. He returns to Bristol for the rest of the vacation and meets Rebecca again. They again hit it off, but, as they are hooking up, he inadvertently calls her "Alice", offending her and ruining the moment. Following his romantic failures, he talks with Spencer, his friend from Southend, who admits to being in legal trouble. Brian invites Spencer to a party before his court appearance.

During the party, Patrick insults Spencer's upbringing and belittles him. Spencer hits Patrick in the face and disrupts the event. Afterwards, Brian shares a drink with Rebecca and tries to apologise for his own behaviour. However, Rebecca still feels Brian loves Alice and encourages him to follow his heart and tell Alice how he feels. He takes her advice and arrives at Alice's flat to declare his love, but discovers Spencer there. Excited by his violent behaviour at the party, Alice had invited him back. Brian feels betrayed by them both, since he had told Spencer how he felt about Alice. Brian gets depressed and struggles with concentrating during University Challenge practices and his studies, threatening his university place. Patrick becomes frustrated with Brian, and as they arrive for their University Challenge match, berates him for his lack of focus. In response, Brian headbutts Patrick, but only succeeds in knocking himself unconscious. He is revived backstage by Rebecca, who has come to watch the show and gives him encouragement before he is escorted to the set. On the way, Brian is briefly left alone with an open envelope containing the quiz questions. He reads one of the cards before putting it back in the envelope, and, inspired by the relative ease of the question, rejoins his team. The match starts off poorly, with nerves clearly getting to Patrick as he fails to answer several questions and puts the team in a hole. Brian slowly but surely digs them out of it, getting into his swing as he answers question after question. As the match is heating up and Brian's team has the momentum, Brian inadvertently gives the answer to the question he had previously seen before quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne has even begun to read it (he has merely introduced it as "an astronomy question"). Realising that Brian has seen the cards, Gascoigne suspends the match and Brian's team is disqualified.

Brian returns home and falls into another depression, sleeping all day and ignoring calls. His mother tries to get him out of the house, but the person who finally reaches him is Spencer. He tells Brian that Gascoigne had gone easy on him, and that he is sorry for his behaviour and proud of Brian for chasing his dreams. Inspired by his friend, Brian returns to Bristol and meets his tutor, promising he is back for good. He then stands Alice up to find Rebecca, who is taking part in a political demonstration. He asks her if she could ever forgive him for his mistakes, and if they can start again. She replies that he already knows the answer, and they kiss.

Despite being set at Bristol University, the main quad and Gustave Tuck lecture theatre of University College London 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 Centre: 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 Granada 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 Greenwich. Brian's home is shown as a slightly run-down seaside house, supposedly located in Westcliff-on-Sea. These scenes were actually filmed in the small village of Jaywick, near Clacton-on-Sea, with the real Westcliff bearing little resemblance to its onscreen depiction. Clacton Pier was used for the scenes set on the pier at Southend-on-Sea.

The film received positive reviews, with a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 78 reviews; the site's consensus states: "Starter For 10 is a spirited coming-of-age tale that remains charming and witty even as it veers into darker territory. The unique setting of a quiz show makes the film wittier than your average romantic comedy."

The soundtrack features music from The Cure, The Smiths, The Psychedelic Furs, Buzzcocks, Yazoo, Motörhead, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Undertones, Tears for Fears, The Style Council and Kate Bush, among 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, filmed in Bristol, that included the University Challenge spoof.

Starter for 10 film Article Talk Language Watch Edit Starter for 10 is a 2006 British comedy drama film directed by Tom Vaughan from a screenplay by David Nicholls adapted from his 2003 novel Starter for Ten The film stars James McAvoy as a university student who wins a place on a University Challenge quiz team It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2006 and was released in the UK and Ireland on 10 November 2006 and in Canada and the US on 23 February 2007 Starter for 10US release posterDirected byTom VaughanWritten byDavid NichollsBased onStarter for Ten by David NichollsProduced byTom Hanks Pippa HarrisStarringJames McAvoy Alice Eve Rebecca Hall Charles Dance Lindsay DuncanCinematographyAshley RoweEdited byHeather PersonsMusic byBlake NeelyProduction companiesPlaytone HBO Films BBC Films Neal Street ProductionsDistributed byIcon Film Distribution United Kingdom Picturehouse United States 1 2 Release date10 November 2006 2006 11 10 Running time92 minutesCountriesUnited Kingdom United States 1 3 LanguageEnglishBox office 1 7 million 2 Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Reception 5 Soundtrack 6 References 7 External linksPlot EditIn 1985 Brian Jackson is a first year university student and information sponge Since his working class childhood in Southend on Sea Brian has loved the TV quiz show University Challenge with its catchphrase Your starter for 10 Soon after arriving at Bristol University Brian attends a party where he meets left wing Rebecca with whom he feels an instant connection Brian attempts to join the University Challenge team but narrowly fails to secure a place when he helps another candidate Alice cheat on the qualifying test Brian falls for the glamorous Alice and tries to date her despite her signals that she sees him as a friend As term starts Brian is invited to join the team after a member falls ill The captain Patrick is a stuck up post grad who has remained captain despite never having achieved success on University Challenge Brian impresses the team with his trivia knowledge and uses his time to get closer to Alice eventually getting invited to her house for Christmas Unfortunately Brian embarrasses himself in front of her family by getting stoned while trying to impress Alice He returns to Bristol for the rest of the vacation and meets Rebecca again They again hit it off but as they are hooking up he inadvertently calls her Alice offending her and ruining the moment Following his romantic failures he talks with Spencer his friend from Southend who admits to being in legal trouble Brian invites Spencer to a party before his court appearance During the party Patrick insults Spencer s upbringing and belittles him Spencer hits Patrick in the face and disrupts the event Afterwards Brian shares a drink with Rebecca and tries to apologise for his own behaviour However Rebecca still feels Brian loves Alice and encourages him to follow his heart and tell Alice how he feels He takes her advice and arrives at Alice s flat to declare his love but discovers Spencer there Excited by his violent behaviour at the party Alice had invited him back Brian feels betrayed by them both since he had told Spencer how he felt about Alice Brian gets depressed and struggles with concentrating during University Challenge practices and his studies threatening his university place Patrick becomes frustrated with Brian and as they arrive for their University Challenge match berates him for his lack of focus In response Brian headbutts Patrick but only succeeds in knocking himself unconscious He is revived backstage by Rebecca who has come to watch the show and gives him encouragement before he is escorted to the set On the way Brian is briefly left alone with an open envelope containing the quiz questions He reads one of the cards before putting it back in the envelope and inspired by the relative ease of the question rejoins his team The match starts off poorly with nerves clearly getting to Patrick as he fails to answer several questions and puts the team in a hole Brian slowly but surely digs them out of it getting into his swing as he answers question after question As the match is heating up and Brian s team has the momentum Brian inadvertently gives the answer to the question he had previously seen before quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne has even begun to read it he has merely introduced it as an astronomy question Realising that Brian has seen the cards Gascoigne suspends the match and Brian s team is disqualified Brian returns home and falls into another depression sleeping all day and ignoring calls His mother tries to get him out of the house but the person who finally reaches him is Spencer He tells Brian that Gascoigne had gone easy on him and that he is sorry for his behaviour and proud of Brian for chasing his dreams Inspired by his friend Brian returns to Bristol and meets his tutor promising he is back for good He then stands Alice up to find Rebecca who is taking part in a political demonstration He asks her if she could ever forgive him for his mistakes and if they can start again She replies that he already knows the answer and they kiss Cast EditJames McAvoy as Brian Jackson Alice Eve as Alice Harbinson Rebecca Hall as Rebecca Epstein Dominic Cooper as Spencer James Corden as Tone Simon Woods as Josh Catherine Tate as Julie Jackson Elaine Tan as Lucy Chang Charles Dance as Michael Harbinson Lindsay Duncan as Rose Harbinson Benedict Cumberbatch as Patrick Watts Mark Gatiss as Bamber Gascoigne James Gaddas as Mr Jackson John Henshaw as Des Ben Willbond as University Challenge ProducerProduction EditDespite being set at Bristol University the main quad and Gustave Tuck lecture theatre of University College London 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 Centre 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 Granada 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 Greenwich Brian s home is shown as a slightly run down seaside house supposedly located in Westcliff on Sea These scenes were actually filmed in the small village of Jaywick near Clacton on Sea with the real Westcliff bearing little resemblance to its onscreen depiction Clacton Pier was used for the scenes set on the pier at Southend on Sea Reception EditThe film received positive reviews with a 90 rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 78 reviews the site s consensus states Starter For 10 is a spirited coming of age tale that remains charming and witty even as it veers into darker territory The unique setting of a quiz show makes the film wittier than your average romantic comedy 4 Soundtrack EditThe soundtrack features music from The Cure The Smiths The Psychedelic Furs Buzzcocks Yazoo Motorhead Echo amp the Bunnymen The Undertones Tears for Fears The Style Council and Kate Bush among others 5 The song Ace of Spades which appears at the beginning of the film was performed by Motorhead in the Bambi episode of The Young Ones filmed in Bristol that included the University Challenge spoof References Edit a b Starter for 10 2007 AFI Catalog of Feature Films Retrieved 21 February 2021 a b Starter for 10 2007 Box Office Mojo Retrieved 6 August 2010 Starter for 10 2006 British Film Institute Starter For 10 at Rotten Tomatoes Starter for 10 Soundtrack 2007 External links EditStarter for 10 at IMDb Starter for 10 at AllMovie Starter for 10 at Box Office Mojo Starter for 10 at Rotten Tomatoes Starter for 10 at Metacritic Official soundtrack on Allmusic com Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Starter for 10 film amp oldid 1066162405, wikipedia, wiki, 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