Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The English Teacher (2013): Juliane Moore's still got it

I've never really had a thing for redheads. Maybe it's because I've got a redheaded sister. Maybe it's a genetic thing. But I do have a fierce admiration for amazing talent. Julianne Moore is quite frankly amazing in just about anything she does. And I like that even if it's not an ideal role or a blockbuster movie, she does absolutely amazing work. Like a professional.

No, this isn't some Oscar worthy vehicle. And no, there isn't some deep message that will resonate through the ages. This is definitely a road traveled. But the message is delivered in a light comedy that comes across shining despite a modest budget.

Linda Sinclair has always done things right. She's also a romantic waiting for that perfect guy, and quite frankly she hasn't figured out that there is no such guy. So she has devoted her life to books and language, and teaching generations of children the beauty of the written word. No man ever able to measure up to the characters from the classics.


An English teacher. A loved one. And one of her students (Michael) has just failed right out of NYC like many of us. He ran off to become a playwright, and gave up the first time someone shit on his dreams. So he's back in the small Pennsylvania town where the movie takes place.

And that's all the plot you get. You probably have a rough idea how things play out, and you are right. Just, it's all done so well. Greg Kinear is excellent as Michael's father. Nathan Lane is excellent as the drama teacher. Even the glut of unknowns play their parts well. And the lessons (though predictable) are handed to you rather than shoved in your face. You are a simple observer to unfolding events.

Never judge a book by it's cover

Live your life. Don't let your life live you.

You don't lose until you give up.

All great lessons. All true. And all done well in this lighthearted tale. There's also an amazing original music score that sounds sometimes Hayden and sometimes Debussy. It really adds to the feel of the movie. I ended up rewinding the credits twice just because of the music. I really enjoyed The English Teacher. I think you will too.