Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review: This excellent film is a dramatic thunderbolt that's hard to forget and really worth seeing.
DVD Features: Commentary with director Karen Moncrieff; Deleted scenes with optional director's commentary; French-language track; Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
Meg (Agnes Brucker) is a high school student who who loves writing poetry. Her mother (Margaret Colin) is overworked, and her younger sister Lily (Regan Arnold) is mildly psychotic. The closest thing to a father figure she has is Mr. Auster (David Strathairn), her English teacher. He's both a mentor and friend to her, and encourages her to enter a national poetry contest. The always excellent David Strathairn steers his teacher character away from being a cliched sleazy seducer by giving a complex portrayal of a sad and lonely man struggling with great difficulty against his impulses. The scene where the relationship between teacher and student turns physical is the best in the film, and portrays this painful and pathetic situation with great finesse. The entire film has been beautifully directed by first-timer Karen Moncrieff.