Director: Tony Kaye
Year Released: 2011
There's over-the-top and then there's Tony Kaye, who can get so extreme here it's like he's pole-vaulting K-2. A substitute teacher (Adrien Brody) dotes on his dying grandfather when he's not having flashbacks to his traumatic childhood (and his dead, naked mother ODing on pills), dealing with violent students or taking in a teenage prostitute (Sami Gayle) and cleaning up her rape wounds. Did I mention one of his students commits suicide in the school courtyard by eating a poison-laced cupcake? Did I also mention Brody is given the task of adopting a faux-feminine voice when impersonating his dead mother for said Alzheimer's afflicted grandpa? There are a few good points and observations in this about the state of teaching, but they're lost beneath the near-hysterical subject matter and tone: sorry, but cursing in front of a student will probably get you fired anywhere in the U.S. Hell, scolding a student too harshly will get you into a real world of problems many places around here. But all that's for a better, more sane movie to explore....