Director: Tony Kaye
Writer: Carl Lund
A strong cast and good acting punctuate this drama about well-worn themes in contemporary cinema and educational discourse—failed public schools and the teachers allegedly indifferent to the pervasive, seemingly intractable social problems in them. Adrien Brody plays a substitute teacher who, in his one-month stint in a long-suffering public school, encounters teachers barely hanging on to their jobs and vocational motivation, and teenage students struggling with identity problems, abuse, and serious adult dilemmas such as prostitution. Hard-hitting indictment of not just the problems afflicting US public education but also some of the remedies advanced to solve them.