Photo via netflix.com.

3/5 Stars  

This week, Netflix’s original 2018 film “The Kindergarten Teacher” has been circulating through Netflix’s list of Top 10 Movies in the U.S Today. This slow-moving but curious drama was at spot #10 at the time of this review. With a runtime of 1 hour and 37 minutes, “The Kindergarten Teacher” is based on an Israeli story. This movie will show viewers how talent, just as with all values, is something that people will try to steal.

Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as Lisa Spinelli, a kindergarten teacher. Parker Sevak plays Jimmy Roy, one of her students, and the pair develop a merky student-teacher friendship that’ll leave the audience unsure of where they stand. Other notable actors in the film include Gael Gracîa Bernal as Simon, Rosa Salzar as Becca and Michael Chernus as Grant Spinelli.

The film is about 5-year-old Roy, who is gifted and intelligent for his age. More specifically, he has a talent for poetry and Spinelli, his kindergarten teacher, is fixated on knowing about every poem that he comes up with. Not talented herself in writing poetry, she starts to take his poems and present them in a poetry class she is taking, unbeknownst to the instructor of the class. Convinced that she found the next Mozart, Spinelli becomes obsessed with Roy, which steadily grows as the movie continues. At the end of the movie, we see Spinelli go to drastic lengths not to lose her genius. 

While the storyline of the film was intense, the production moved slowly. Despite the film’s culmination being rather exciting, the 90-minute film is was hesitant to capture its audience and difficult to sit through.

Since a large part of the film is Spinelli discussing Roy and his poetry, the majority of the film felt repetitive and mundane. It feels as though this movie was destined to be a suspense movie and Netflix may have just missed the mark by making it a drama.

This film is perfect for anyone who enjoys low stress movies that tell a crazy story. Otherwise you may just find yourself in search of more of a thrill than what the “The Kindergarten Teacher” has to offer.