Mar. 20, 2013 - Issue #909: Water Crisis
Portia (Fey) is an admissions officer at Princeton. Taking a few jabs at helicopter parents as they desperately try to get their child into the prestigious school, the tables turn quickly when Portia is reconnected with the child, Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), she gave up for adoption years ago. Now in his last year of high school, Jeremiah has his own dreams of getting into Princeton encouraged by his unorthodox teacher (Rudd). While Jeremiah is smart, he is not exactly Princeton material.
Filled with insightful, yet gentle, one-two punches about parenting, trying to parent successfully and, well, not parenting at all, Portia is regularly confronted with her decision not to raise a child, mumbling a stressed "I love that question," when asked why she never wanted kids. And with the complete and utter death of the family sitcom, asking the question of what it means to be a good parent is a matter that goes largely unexplored for this latest generation of moms and dads.
Her own mother, Susannah (Lily Tomlin), isn't afraid to express her disappointment with her daughter's life. Playing a second-wave feminist, Tomlin does an outstanding job here—rounding out a character that doesn't appear on-screen nearly enough. Dropping some witty feminisms—if you know your Virginia Woolf from your Gertrude Stein—Tomlin's intellectual-hippie could be a highlight.
Swinging for a whole "in a world where you can be anything, be yourself" vibe, this film is less about falling in love with Prince Charming and more about finding your way when your world falls apart. While Admission keeps the tone a little too light to make the Hollywood ending feel truly satisfying, its attempt to tell a different kind of story is all the entertainment necessary and reason enough to pop some popcorn, if only to encourage more (slightly better) movies like it.
Opens Opens Fri, Mar 21
Directed by: Paul Weitz
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