Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (video in the 90’s and 2 Jun 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A young boy befriends a local disfigured teacher who agrees to help him study for an important exam in order for him to be accepted to a prestigious boarding school
My Take on it – It’s quite interesting how a movie could have such an impact on me when I fist saw it twenty years ago, but now I find it to be not as good solely based on the unbelievability of lead actor/debut director Mel Gibson in the title role.
As much as the story is done right and we are transported into New England in the late 1960’s it is just hard to imagine Gibson as the bitter teacher who agrees to tutor a VERY young Nick Stahl.
The most ironic scene in this movie is when Gibson reads from The Merchant of Venice giving us Shylock’s most famous soliloquy about being a Jew.
Besides Gibson, the rest of the cast are all great and this movie is somewhat reminiscent of Dead Poet’s Society (1989) and Finding Forrester (2000) because of the impact a reclusive teacher can have on his pupil(s)
Bottom Line – Gibson’s directorial debut. Story is done very well, but it doesn’t feel as good now as it did then because Gibson no longer seems like the best choice for the part, but the movie is still a great entry into the teacher/student genre. Recommended!
Rating – Globe Worthy
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