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The incomparable Maggie Gyllenhaal shines in this darkly funny drama, as a teacher who becomes worryingly obsessed with nurturing a poetically gifted child’s talent.

Gyllenhaal is Lisa Spinelli, a primary school teacher who aspires to a more engaged cultural life for herself and her family – who don’t share her enthusiasm. She finds an outlet for her artistic pursuits at an evening poetry class taught by a handsome instructor (Gael García Bernal), who doesn’t care much for her poems. One day, five year-old student Jimmy (Parker Sevak) unexpectedly recites what appears to be a poem, and Lisa becomes convinced that he is a poetry prodigy. With his busy father uninterested, Lisa takes it upon herself to foster Jimmy’s talent, and soon enough the boundary is breached between care and unhealthy obsession.

A brilliantly observed ethical pretzel… The Kindergarten Teacher is probably the only movie about poetry with an ending as tense as any thriller’ – The Guardian

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