Movies set in or around high schools are accumulating rapidly, mostly in the form of reunion stories. We’re expecting Ten Year and American Reunion, which each celebrate the relationships of old classmates. But sometimes, even more interesting than student-student relationships are student-teacher…and even teacher-teacher relationships. Such is the subject matter for the new Julianne Moore-starring comedy The English Teacher, wherein she’ll take on the titular role, reconnecting with an old student (who is a failed playwright) in an effort to bolster the student body’s passions for the arts. Also set as castmembers are Greg Kinnear and, the most recent addition, Nathan Lane.
Lane will play a history teacher in Moore’s school. While that is all that is known so far of his character, there is definitely a vivid picture that comes to mind when you think of a Nathan Lane character. We can assume that he won’t be anything in the neighborhood of subdued. We can also assume that, as he’s a supporting character in a comedy, he probably won’t be a very good teacher. This could mean ill-informed. It could mean misanthropic. It could mean sexual deviant. The options are endless. As is Lane’s range.
We know that Moore’s character, on the other hand, is a passionate, dedicated teacher whose life outside of the classroom is not nearly as optimistic or inspiring. It is this lack of personal fulfillment that leads her to devise the plan to put on her former student’s play.
Directing the film is Craig Zisk, who, while a newcomer to feature film, has directed episodes of The United States of Tara, Weeds, Nip/Tuck, Scrubs, The Office, The Big C, Nurse Jackie, Alias, Felicity, Shasta McNasty, Charmed, The Tick, NYPD Blue… you get the point. He’s done TV. Now: MOVIES.