Ugh. How was this movie nominated for best picture? I found it entertaining but I also found a lot of faults with it. I don’t know the director well so I don’t know if he/she has directed before but I’m going to guess that they never directed a feature before. There were a few things that a good director wouldn’t have let happen. For example, the usage of extras was really poorly done. I cite for you the pizza shop scene where I got majorly distracted by the extras for two reasons : First was that they were all overacting and being obvious but secondly was the aperture/focal length which really kept much of the background action in focus where it really shouldn’t have. Another directory thing that I found annoying was that even though I was supposed to feel like this school in the movie was in NYC it felt like a completely different city. I would venture a guess it wasn’t even shot in New York. If it was, then he somehow made it look like another city entirely.
Then of course was the fact that the protagonist was not consistent in his tone and personality. At first we are led to believe that he’s a nerdy/shy/introverted kid but then about a third of a way into the movie he’s at dinner with some family friends and he’s all of a sudden bold and outgoing and brave. And then he later changes into someone who is just insanely motivated to succeed. Not even being in a car accident and having his car flipped over will stop him from performing. Believable? Um, no. And at said performance he is covered in blood and cuts and yet nobody, not one person questions it.
And then there is the teacher dude. He actually had a consistent personality but what school would allow someone to go unchallenged and unsupervised to the point where he is slapping students and throwing chairs at them? Not one student in the history of this teachers tenure complained to anyone? And then we are to just accept that he puts 3 students up for 5 hours of abuse with no breaks and nobody complains or steps in?
I guess overall the movie to me felt completely unbelievable and that really bugged me a lot. For a first time director/feature, ok. But to have it nominated for best picture and best screenplay? Uh. No.