Part thriller, part character-study – The Kindergarten Teacher is anchored by the powerful touch of Gyllenhaal…
It’s extremely stifling being Lisa Spinelli. Her suburban life, her job teaching kindergarten kids, her teenage children who are more interested in their phones than her, her nice but uninspiring partner, her dream of a life filled with art and words that hasn’t materialised…
It’s a life many can relate to but one that we don’t often see on screen; not awful, quite privileged, but utterly underwhelming.
However, everything shifts when Lisa (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) discovers that Jimmy, one of the children she teaches, has a ferocious poetic talent and is often overtaken by his creative spirit, making verse up on the spot.
She begins stealing his poems and claiming them as her own during her poetry class taught by handsome professor, Simon (Gael García Bernal), where she is hailed for her way with words.
It’s not long until her interest in Jimmy develops into an unhealthy fascination. As events take a dark turn, Lisa continues to tell herself that she only wants the best for her young protégé, making it all the more unsettling to watch.
The film is a remake of the 2014 Israeli original, this time seen through the lens of Sara Colangelo. Colangelo made her mark in 2014 with Little Accidents but the careful, subtle direction takes her filmography to the next level.
Straddling two genres – part thriller, part character-study –The Kindergarten Teacher is anchored by the powerful touch of Gyllenhaal (Secretary, The Deuce).
The actor crafts a career-best performance as Spinelli, never over-playing the part.
It’s impossible to take your eyes off Gyllenhaal as she loses perspective, yet remains utterly believable in this gripping, quietly devastating film.
Get Film Club tickets to see ‘The Kindergarten Teacher’
Join Thunderbird Releasing and Stylist for an early screening of The Kindergarten Teacher this February before the film’s nationwide release on 8 March.
See the film at the following venues on Monday 25 February: Birmingham Vue, Stratford Vue, Leeds The Light Vue, Odeon Glasgow Braehead, Odeon Holloway, Odeon Trafford Centre, Odeon Newcastle Metrocentre or Odeon Wimbledon, plus Piccadilly Vue on Tuesday 26 February.
Make sure you arrive at 6pm for a 6.30pm start.
Click here to get tickets and enter the promotional code: VW4JM6
Photography: Thunderbird Releasing
The Kindergarten Teacher is in UK cinemas from 8 March