The English Teacher (film)

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The English Teacher
English teacher poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCraig Zisk
Produced by
  • Matthew E. Chausse
  • Naomi Despres
  • Ben LeClair
  • Robert Salerno
Written byDan Chariton
Stacy Chariton
Music byRob Simonsen
CinematographyVanja Cernjul
Edited byMyron I. Kerstein
Artina Films
Distributed by
Release date
  • April 26, 2013 (2013-04-26) (Tribeca Film Festival)
  • May 17, 2013 (2013-05-17) (United States)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$320,013[1]

The English Teacher is a 2013 American romantic comedy-drama film[2] directed by Craig Zisk. The film stars Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano, Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, and Nathan Lane, and was written by Dan and Stacy Chariton. It received mixed reviews.


Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is a high school English teacher in the small town of Kingston, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about her subject and popular with her students, but lives alone in simple circumstances. Cursed with a hopeless romantic soul, she lives in a world of men unable to match her impossible standards. When her former star pupil Jason Sherwood (Michael Angarano) returns after graduating from New York University's playwriting program, crushed and insecure after failing to succeed, Linda and drama teacher Carl Kapinas (Nathan Lane) convince him to produce his play at the school. Jason's overbearing father, Dr. Tom Sherwood (Greg Kinnear), pressures him to attend law school instead, which he finally relents to lest his ulcer be the end of him with no other prospects in sight. Complications arise after Linda and Jason, in a moment of impulsive creative madness, have a sexual encounter on her classroom desk. Various jealousies and rumours ensue, affecting her and everyone around her including the production of Jason's play. When the school heads are confronted with proof of her indiscretion with a former student, Linda is fired on the spot. Embarrassed and in erratic egress from the situation, Linda storms off, gets into a minor car collision, and ends up at in hospital where she's attended to by none other than Dr. Tom Sherwood. When she is moved by his gracious manner after having been mean to him on a previous occasion, she guiltily admits to having had sex with his son.

With surprise news of successful advance-ticket sales of beyond $18,000 for Jason's atypical play, the headmaster is reluctant to miss out on the much-needed cash injection. He backtracks and persuades Linda to return and resume directing duties so the play may go on. However, there still remains another slight bone of contention. The school heads require a new ending for the play as they refuse to sanction the current one which they deem to be overly violent. They fear the parents will be outraged by its dark themes of murder and suicide. When Jason feels betrayed and refuses to rewrite the play's ending, Linda is forced to come up with a suitable replacement herself, lest the entire play be a failure. After much soul searching, she manages to write an improved ending which Jason comes around to accepting when he realizes the play will be a roaring success.

All is forgiven and Jason moves on to write further plays as Linda eases back into teaching and regaining her reputation. Sometime later, Linda runs into Jason's father at her favourite bookshop. They catch up over coffee and both realize they'd totally misread each other previously. Grateful for all Linda has done for his son, and pleasantly surprised they have much more in common than previously thought, Tom, in spite of any remaining awkwardness, invites Linda on a further proper date. She, somewhat hesitantly, accepts the invitation.



The English Teacher was first announced in September 2011.[3] It was Zisk's feature film directorial debut, following his work on several television shows, including Weeds, The Big C, Scrubs, and The United States of Tara.[4][5]


The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26, 2013, followed by a US theatrical release on May 17.[6] It was released in 7 theaters, and earned $104,810 domestically at the box office, and $215,203 in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $320,013.[1] The film also had a video on demand release.


On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 41% based on reviews from 37 critics, with an average rating of 5.39/10.[7] On Metacritic the film has a score of 42 out of 100, based on reviews from 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8]


  1. ^ a b "The English Teacher (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  2. ^ Scott Foundas (May 13, 2013). "Film Review: 'The English Teacher'". Variety. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear To Star In 'The English Teacher'". IndieWire. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Tribeca Film Festival announces new Richard Linklater, David Gordon Green films for line-up". Entertainment Weekly. March 6, 2013. Retrieved March 15, 2013.
  5. ^ "Cinedigm & Tribeca Film Team Up To Distribute Julianne Moore and Nathan Lane Starring 'The English Teacher'". IndieWire. 12 February 2013. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano in 'The English Teacher' - trailer". Digital Spy. April 4, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2013.
  7. ^ "The English Teacher". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  8. ^ "The English Teacher". Metacritic.

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