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Movies: The Inner Lives Of Stressed-Out, Numbed-Out Teachers

image from www.notorietyinc.com

Starting tomorrow you can check out Detachment, a new education-themed movie starring Adrien Brody. 

There are some predictable swipes at NCLB, central office politics, burned out teachers, and parents demanding special education services for violent children, but the film fits pretty neatly into the troubled teacher / Half Nelson subgenre; don't go in anticipating a pretty story with lots of redeeming turns of events or satisfyingly simple resolutions. It's pretty brutal stuff, despite the cute chalkboard animations and a brooding Adrien Brody (and Lucy Liu hiding behind heavy plastic glasses).  The story is about a half-zombie substitute teacher at a constantly near-violent Queens(?) high school.   In his off time he visits his grandfather at a pretty awful nursing home and takes in an underage prostitute. There are some pretty disturbed kids and unhappy adults, and lots of violence, verbal and otherwise.

You will feel something watching this movie, which is good, but it won't be pleasant.  Featuring a cast that includes James Caan, Marsha Gay Harding, Christina Hendricks.


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