Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 37 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 29, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 13
Admission submits a winning application
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Admission submits a winning application

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN A&E Writer

ADMISSION Opens March 22

Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is an admissions officer at Princeton University. She looks at the applications sent in by hopeful high school students from around the country and passes judgment. She's good at her job - at least both she and the dean of admissions, Clarence (Wallace Shawn), who has recently announced his retirement, think so - and in all actuality those are the only two opinions that matter.

Things get complicated after Portia heads out on her annual recruiting trip to visit schools throughout the region. Not only is her uncompromising, freethinking mother, Susannah (Lily Tomlin), her typically ill-tempered self, she's also forced to reconnect with former college classmate John Pressman (Paul Rudd), the free-spirited world traveler now running a progressive, alternative high school that she's deigned to visit.

With mom spouting gibberish left and right, most of it detailing a cancer scare she didn't think important enough to tell her daughter about, John has a revelation of his own. He thinks his most promising student, the wildly intelligent but stupendously unfocused Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), might be the child Portia gave up for adoption years prior, his zeal to attend Princeton just the impetus required for the two of them to potentially get to know one another.

Having not read Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel I wasn't sure what to expect in regards to Paul Weitz's (About a Boy, Being Flynn) latest, Admission. Working from a script by Karen Croner (One True Thing), I was pleased to discover how grounded and honest this potentially silly and inane narrative turned out to be. Keeping the focus on Portia, never belittling her, always treating her with respect, never making fun of her actions or attempting to transform her into a figure of ridicule or pity, the movie does a grand job of making her a fully formed human figure, and as such she becomes incredibly easy to relate to and empathize with as things progress.

This is not to say either Weitz or Croner dull any of her edges or smooth away the admission officer's imperfections. She makes bad decisions, and as silly (and, sad to say, pointless) as a subplot involving her failed relationship with a Princeton literary professor (gamely played by the always wonderful Michael Sheen) might be, that doesn't make the dissolution of their union any less heartfelt or meaningful. Portia is a real woman, warts and all, and even if the narrative does require her to do a couple of dubious things, especially towards the end, the reasons for their happening end up feeling authentically brittle and intimate all the same.

BEYOND LIZ LEMON
None of this would work without out Fey, of course, and she more than rises to the occasion. This is a wonderfully dynamic performance, one that doesn't rely on tics and tricks to bring its points across. While some of the situations Portia finds herself in don't always ring true, the performance itself consistently does. Fey shows she's far more than a '30 Rock' one-trick pony, and anyone who's thought of her as that and only that will be pleasantly surprised.

At the same time, while the movie is incredibly well-cast (Tomlin's scenes, while not allowing her to stretch or do anything close to new, crackle with acerbic electricity, while Rudd is his typically laid-back self, flaunting his refreshing brand of self-effacing humor), it's not like any of the supporting characters come to life in a meaningful way. They are pieces of her puzzle, nothing more, and as such they don't ever make a personal connection, meaning that the potential for believable romance between Portia and John never quite materializes.

But I like the fact that Portia, even when faced with a possibility she never fathomed, doesn't stop doing her job, that she vets Jeremiah as fully as any other potential student making sure he is in fact ready to attend Princeton. Does she do some odd things once she decides he's a good candidate? Sure she does, otherwise the film would be all of 15 minutes long. But until that point, up until she makes that determination, Portia remains committed to doing her due diligence, and while she ends up believing for this student more so than any she has in the past, getting there means analyzing him just as studiously as she would any other promising candidate.

Like most Weitz films, Admission goes on a little too long, and I can't say it resolves itself in a way I found entirely rewarding. All the same I was more than satisfied by the experience of watching this one, my time in the theater one I thoroughly enjoyed. Fey dominates, delivering a performance that held me happily captivated until the end. I also liked the fact that Croner's script doesn't go for easy answers, doesn't paint rosy pictures, allowing for failure and success to intermingle in almost equal measure. The movie is a good one, and as cinematic applications for ticket purchase go, this is one submission I can heartily endorse.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Go-Go girl - Belinda Carlisle talks about her career, new single, and Gay son
------------------------------
What a feeling! - An interview with Emily Padgett, star of the stage adaptation of Flashdance
------------------------------
The decline and fall of American royalty
------------------------------
Happy Trails - Village Theatre's new mini-musical is worth the hike to Suburbia
------------------------------
Last call for Cabaret Month! - Outstanding four-week run of shows at Egan's concludes SundayBeatScience 2 - Alchemy Tap Project takes an old dance form to new heights
------------------------------
Rihanna set to sparkle at Key Arena
------------------------------
Joan Osborne interview next week in SGN
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
A high hill to climb - Mungiu's new film is an emotionally devastating test of faith
------------------------------
The latest G.I. Joe installment is not worth retaliating against
------------------------------
Admission submits a winning application
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------
Letters
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2012

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News