There is a quote from David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas that says “it’s true, reading too many novels makes you go blind.” Those of us who are book worms would throw our arms up in protest at this statement but it is clear the creators of The English Teacher believe these words are true.
The creators of this film most likely do not suppose us literature types will become literally blind due to our reading, but rather propose that books will excommunicate us from society and eventually cause us to become simple, misguided, gullible and ill-treated pieces of waste. She loved her work. She earned her keep. That was enough.
Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is the quint essential high school English teacher who is in love with poetry, literature and the great romances of the past. She spends her days striving to ignite the same passion in her numerous students, both past and present.
When she sees an opportunity to further inspire, support and promote a former student (Michael Angarano) she seems to lose control of her perfectly manicured life. As she so desperately tries to advocate the passions of her student, she ignites some deep passions within her, turning her life into a whirlpool of trouble.
The opening to this film shows great promise and sets the film up for a really great comedy but the follow through is a little disappointing. Even though we have seen this kind of stereotypical character before, there is hope that Miss Sinclair would be redeemed in the end and not actually be this meek and weak lonely English teacher that she is set up to be. The acting of Moore and her supporting cast is completely up to scratch, you wouldn’t expect anything less, but there seems to be something lacking in the depth of the script. You never really feel like you get to the true nature of Miss Sinclair, you only feel sorry that she is so overrun and manipulated by the people around her. Nathan Lane as impressive as ever fulfilling the role of the overly dramatic and self-focused school director. At one point in this film you swear it is going to turn into a teen musical. This may actually have been preferable, there was ample opportunity and it may actually have redeemed this dark comedy.
This may be one of those movies that you don’t really have an opinion about. You are not entirely sorry you watched it but you are also not thrilled you picked this above the other choices on the self.
The true romantic is always on her own.