Six Minutes to Midnight: Film Review

Six Minutes To Midnight

I love a period drama that shines a light on something I never knew about before and Six Minutes to Midnight certainly fits the bill.

The movie, directed by Andy Goddard and co-written by its star Eddie Izzard, is set 17 days before the start of World War II in 1939 and is inspired by the real Augusta Victoria College for girls in Bexhill-on-Sea on the south coast of England. The Nazi finishing school, the first and last school of its kind, had 20 German girls and was run by the English headmistress, Frau Rocholl (Judi Dench), and two teachers. When the English teacher disappears under mysterious circumstances, government agent Thomas Miller (Izzard) gets hired as his replacement so he can investigate what is going on at the school.

The fact that the finishing school actually existed blows my mind and I couldn’t wait to learn more about it. The opening scenes of the English teacher hunting frantically for something important, dashing away from the school and being taken out on Bexhill pier immediately hooked me in and I was gripped, excited to get to the bottom of what happened. The crime drama created around the real-life place was very interesting and engaging and I enjoyed the way the mystery unravelled. It gets more thrilling and dramatic as it goes on and Miller gets closer to the truth, but it’s not perfect, and I wasn’t completely sold on the ending.

Izzard isn’t somebody you’d expect to be cast as a government agent but I quite liked that – it was refreshing and it made sense as his appearance makes him a good fit for an undercover agent posing as a teacher. Dench is reliable as always, Jim Broadbent was delightful as the cheery bus driver Charlie, and James D’Arcy made a big impact as police officer Captain Drey. However, my favourites were Carla Juri as the other teacher, Frau Keller, and Tijan Marei as Gretel, an outsider amongst the girls.

Six Minutes to Midnight has some flaws here and there but I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story so much that I didn’t really mind them.

On Sky Cinema from Friday 26th March

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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