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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Cautions that no matter how positive the intent, boundaries must not be crossed. Comments upon how great gifts of talent and artistry are rare and must be acknowledged, supported, cherished.
Positive Role Models
The teacher is compassionate, smart, gifted in her relationships with young children, a caring parent, and yet vulnerable. Ultimately, she makes a series of escalating bad decisions that prove disastrous. Ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Some suspenseful moments when audience may fear that a child is in danger.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing, undressing, foreplay between adults. Partial nudity: central character's breasts visible in several scenes.
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Occasional profanity, including "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "bitch," "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink alcohol in social situations; no drunkenness. Teens smoke marijuana in one party scene. Cigarette smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Kindergarten Teacher is a compelling drama about one woman's good intentions giving way to obsession and crossing multiple ethical boundaries. Based on an award-winning 2014 Israeli movie of the same name, writer-director Sara Colangelo has transported the action to Staten Island where the title character discovers that one of her students, a 5-year-old boy, is a miraculously gifted poet. The teacher's efforts to recognize and support the boy's innate talent lead her to a series of questionable actions. Language includes occasional profanity: "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "bitch." Several scenes show the initiation of sexual activity between adults, kissing, embracing, with female breasts visible in multiple scenes. Adults drink alcoholic beverages. A teen couple is caught sharing a marijuana cigarette at a party. The kindergarten teacher smokes cigarettes. Adult themes, suspense, and dubious behavior on the part of the leading character make this best suited for mature teens. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Sara Colangelo's masterful film hopes to enlighten about the rarity and significance of great art in today's world; Maggie Gyllenhaal's extraordinary performance gives testimony to her premise. Surrounded by a pitch-perfect musical score, a beautiful production, and a wonderful supporting cast and the sensational young Parker Sevak as Jimmy Roy, Gyllenhaal has simply never been better. The Kindergarten Teacher isn't afraid of having its leading character fall from grace. Lisa's journey makes the story all the more impactful. Though her passion trumps her good sense, her challenge is a challenge faced by all of us: to value art at its purest and to advocate for those whose miraculous gifts come this way so seldom.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.