Tony Kaye (2011)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Adrien Brody is the quiet centre of a ferocious storm in this drama from provocative British director Tony Kaye (American History X). He plays a disillusioned supply teacher who copes with the everyday grind by remaining emotionally detached from it. But he's surrounded by chaos and rage, powerfully expressed here in confrontational close-ups and in the scathing sarcasm of school counsellor James Caan and his pressurised colleague Lucy Liu. Still, the loudest voice belongs to Kaye, whose head-on approach is sure to ruffle feathers. That vitriol feels justified as Brody's noncommittal sub finally reaches out to a talented but troubled pupil (played by Kaye's daughter, Betty), only to be admonished for being too touchy-feely. His character's attempts to rehabilitate a young hooker seems incongruous and clichéd by comparison, but newcomer Sami Gayle looks like a potential star in that role. Admittedly, the film is heavy-handed in places, but it still makes you sit up and take notice.


A substitute teacher drifts from school to school, actively trying to avoid making emotional connections with either colleagues or pupils. When he takes a placement at a school with an apathetic student body and a frustrated administration, he finds himself becoming an unlikely role model. Drama, starring Adrien Brody, Marcia Gay Harden and James Caan.

Cast & Crew

Henry Barthes Adrien Brody
Ms Sarah Madison Christina Hendricks
Principal Carol Dearden Marcia Gay Harden
Mr Charles Seaboldt James Caan
Ms Perkins Blythe Danner
Dr Doris Parker Lucy Liu
Mr Wiatt Tim Blake Nelson
Mr Dearden Bryan Cranston
Mr Sarge Kepler William L Petersen
Erica Sami Gayle
Meredith Betty Kaye
Grampa Louis Zorich
Mr Mathias Isiah Whitlock Jr
Director Tony Kaye
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: G2 PicturesGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes, suicide theme.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 13 Jul 2012