Director: Hannah Fidell
Year Released: 2013
A high school teacher in Texas (Lindsay Burdge) is carrying on an illicit affair with one of her A.P. English students (Will Brittain) and under constant fear of being discovered. As a teacher I watched this with extreme trepidation - so many of these extraordinarily unethical relationships keep taking place and appear in the news (always ending poorly for the teacher) - and while Fidell does a fine job crafting a mood piece about doomed "love," her core problem is in not developing either of her principal characters sufficiently (Burdge apparently has issues with her mother that are addressed only briefly; the 'boy' doesn't talk or act like most high school seniors I've ever met or taught). The teacher's getting caught is inevitable: the entire movie is a waiting game for that phone call from an administrator saying the gig is up and the psyche of an adult woman who would risk her career and not date someone her own age is not explored. Burdge's performance is not so easy to dismiss, however - she lends this a considerable degree of weight, and her face registers extreme internal distress ... now the only thing is clueing the audience in on what those problems are, exactly.