The Kindergarten Teacher
Winner · US Dramatic Directing · Sundance Film Festival
He's just a little boy, but his teacher's convinced he's a prodigy - and she'll do whatever it takes to nurture his talent.
Lisa Spinelli (a spellbinding Maggie Gyllenhaal) has been teaching kindergarten for long enough to yearn for something more than each year’s small victories with 5-year-olds, particularly in a world where inspiration is only fleeting. Longing for a creative outlet, Lisa signs up for poetry classes at night, but quickly becomes frustrated by the limits of her talents.
But when one of her students, 5-year-old Jimmy, spouts a made-up poem, wielding language and a lyricism beyond his years, Lisa sees a savant who, without a worthy mentor, will have his creative spirit crushed by a cold world. As fascination turns to obsession, Lisa is set on an all-consuming path to bring out the very best in Jimmy and save him from a banal life she knows all too well.
"Rippling with psychological complexity and sneaky humour, this is a rich character study that takes constantly surprising turns." – The Hollywood Reporter