Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Teacher (2013) 3 of 4

Beautiful Teachers, Sexual Misconduct, Part 1

A Teacher is one of those low-budget, sexy-looking movies that make for a good impulse-buy on a bored and/or lonely night.
The film is set in Texas, where it follows an attractive female teacher and her affair with one of her students, a handsome football player.  I'm not a fan of the hi-def video look, but like anything else it has its uses, and this type of intimate drama is one of them, the kind of voyeuristic film that lets you be a fly-on-the-wall for some character-based drama and misbehavior.  We might say that such films correct the flaw of reality TV by supplying actors and a script.

** spoilers in remainder of review **

There are some moderately sexy moments, but this is mainly a drama and a character study.  We know from the beginning that this can't end well, but the film compensates for the foregone quality by starting with the affair already ongoing and ending just when the relationship does, when a call from the principal leaves the protagonist in wracking sobs.
A Teacher works best as a calling card for actress Lindsay Burdge -- a very effective one, judging from the half-dozen films she has in the pipeline.  As drama, it's effective, as social exploration, very conventional.  The affair is the teacher's fault, but it's also something that happens to her as opposed to the young man she's preyed on.  He's a swaggering kid, and we're sure that he'll be just fine, but as for his ex-, we see her as more victim than criminal.    

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