Teacher Ma’m (Film Thoughts: the Kindergarten Teacher)

large_kindergarten-imageI had heard about ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ when it premiered in Sundance earlier this year, and have been on the lookout for it. Apparently, Netflix bought the film so yes, even better. I wished this had wider theater distribution, though, because it really is a special film. Yes, I know, it being on Netflix will probably give it more eyes than a regular indie distribution, but still…

Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a great performance here. She plays Lisa Spinelli, a forty-something year old kindergarten teacher who discovers that one of her students has a knack for composing poems. This stirs up something inside her – she is taking a poetry class and doesn’t seem to be tracking. When she starts presenting the kid’s poems as her own, she gains attention from the class, including the professor (Gael Garcia Bernal, also wonderful in a small role)  However, Lisa is not really interested in claiming the poems as her own, she other ideas, and writer/director Sara Colangelo takes the movie to places you never thought it would go. it doesn’t necessarily go darker, but definitely deeper.

This is one of those great small films that gives you a character that may be different, or quirky, but believable, even relatable, definitely interesting. You may even love the character, and will definitely be fond of the film.

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