Friday, April 8, 2011

Pick O' the Week - April 8

It is once again my turn to pull a 'Pick O the Week'. A good friend (who is a substitute teacher) has been teaching at my junior school this week and I feel inspired.

That's right, the quintessential character development: to learn who you are and where your place is in the world. We all go through it, but there's nothing quite like the movies to remind us that our own school days were probably reasonably tame...

  • In Theatres: Hanna starring Academy Award nominated Saoirse Ronan (pronounced SEER-shuh), this film has been winning accolades for its tense and compelling trailer. The film follows Ronan, who is cut off from society and trained to be the perfect assassin by her father (Eric Bana). Tracked by the incomparable Cate Blanchett (rocking both the wig and accent of Clarice Starling), she seeks to complete her mission. And I'm hooked. I'm also now wondering about my home-schooled acquaintances....
  • At home: An Education. Another Oscar nominated performance, we have Ms. Carey Mulligan as a school aged girl in the 1960's who is trying to find herself as she is pulled between her childhood and the world of adults. Precocious and wise beyond her age she becomes embroiled in a dangerous relationship with a playboy nearly twice her age. An Education was nominated for 3 Oscars in 2009 and if you haven't had the pleasure I urge you to check out the trailer.
  • On TV: Freaks and Geeks. This short lived (it only lasted one season) show about the unpopular kids in a Michigan area high school in the early 80's. Although only 18 episodes of the series were made (with a whopping 12 having actually aired), the show was a strong statement on the power of individuality and the complexity of being young. Alternately funny and poignant, it gave rise to the likes of Linda Cardellini, Jason Segal, James Franco, Busy Phillips and Seth Rogen.
  • Retro re-watch: For me, the quintessential film about learning and coming of age will always have to be Dead Poets Society. In his first Oscar nominated turn as an educator (I maintain that his 1997 Oscar was actually awarded for this film), Robin Williams plays the inspirational teacher at an all boys school. This is the film that inspired a generation of educators and continues to pull at my heartstrings even today.


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