The Kindergarten Teacher

"A brilliantly observed ethical pretzel about a poetically gifted kid" ★★★★★ Guardian

Showing Times

On the face of it, kindergarten teacher Lisa (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has a fortunate and fulfilled life, with an affectionate, long-standing marriage, 2 nearly grown offspring, and a job in which she's valued and well liked. This picture of banal bliss conceals the turmoil of middle aged dissatisfaction, though, as Lisa casts about for something more exceptional in her life.  Her weekly poetry group is a beacon even though her efforts are pretty pedestrian, so when one of the quietest 5 year olds in her class starts to spout extraordinary stream of consciousness verse, Lisa feels compelled to nurture the talent in young Jimmy, even when her efforts are unwanted...

This is a remake of an Israeli movie, teriffically well adapted by writer/director Sara Colangelo and it is probably the only movie about a poet that ends with the crescendo of a thriller!  To say 'it's all about Maggie' would be to under value this intense, shape-shifting psychodrama, but it is difficult to imagine any other actress whose persona so perfectly fits the morally ambiguous, emotionally complex character of Lisa.  This quiet tour de force of a performance makes this an unmissable film.

This film is triple F-Rated.  This means that it has a fully developed female character at the centre of the film and it also has a female director and screenwriter (in this case, both the same person).


Film Information

97 mins

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