‘The Kindergarten Teacher’ review

Movie poster for “The Kindergarten Teacher.” This film is the English remake of an Israeli version in 2014 of the same name

Movie poster for “The Kindergarten Teacher.” This film is the English remake of an Israeli version in 2014 of the same name

Harley Fonseca, Reporter

Rating: 3.5/5

In “The Kindergarten Teacher,” director Sara Colangelo captures the determination and great lengths one teacher will go through for one of her students. The film also can revive a love of the arts for the viewer, seeing it blossom from a child whose knowledge is so limited, yet has such a way with words within the poetry he writes. 

Maggie Gyllenhaal, known for her role in “The Dark Knight,” plays Lisa Spinelli, a kindergarten teacher who is very endearing in her students’ education. Gyllenhaal has always been a great actress, in my opinion, and her performance in this movie was intriguing to me. Her role makes the viewer question whether or not she’s in the wrong by crossing the boundaries on her role as a teacher. 

You can tell Spinelli wants more education and less technology involved in her family’s life as her children get older and less interested in school while her husband is clueless to the lack of bonding within the family. The only place she seems to be tranquil is her poetry class, where her work is compared to being “derivative.” 

Once she discovers her student Jimmy Roy reciting a poem at the top of his head, she immediately makes it her personal mission to train Roy’s intellect in hopes of making him a young prodigy, later comparing him to Mozart. 

Parker Sevak stars in his first film as Roy, a 5-year-old whose intellect is more advanced than his classmates. As he paces back and forth, Roy writes poems off the top of his head, reciting them to himself as others perceive it as another child mumbling to themselves. His talent is constantly overlooked, and Spinelli is the only one who notices him since she has always had a love for poetry and the arts. 

Gyllenhaal and Sevak’s performances are incredible when onscreen together, all while bringing the movie to a sad, and tad disappointing, conclusion, but I do have to say it was understandable why it ended the way it did. It just would’ve gone too far and out of hand. I don’t give away huge spoilers, so you’d have to see “The Kindergarten Teacher” yourself! Available on Netflix for a limited time, it is a movie worth checking out!