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Most recent posting below. See other blog postings in the column to the right.

Mud Season For Movies

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Robert Frost's "Two Tramps in Mud Time" pays homage to that liminal time between winter and spring, of frost heaves and the mudslides of Vermont.  He must have had the same feeling I have about movies in between the holidays, the Oscars, and summer blockbusters.

So where does that leave springtime movies? Somewhere in between, which gave me the opportunity to see Admission twice.

The trailer for Admission doesn't give it the credit it deserves, so forget everything you may have seen in the trailer and just go see the movie (or rent/buy it). If you have kids who have yet to go through the college admissions process, the movie may give you a little agina, but it's like medicine - it may taste a little bitter at first but in the long run it's good for you.

Based on the novel by Princeton resident Jean Korelitz, Admission the movie takes a lot of liberties with the book, some quite unexpected, and some very appreciated. My favorite "liberty" (having read the book) is the character of Portia Nathan (Tina Fey)'s  mom, played hilariously by Lily Tomlin. I can't recall the last movie i saw with Lily Tomlin, but her wacky performance is worth the price of Admission.

Paul Rudd, Wallace Shawn, Michael Sheen and Gloria Rubin anchor a delightful cast (the Lily Tomlin professor lust-interest is spot on), and it's fun to spot the walk-ons from town and gown.

Korelitz has noted that it was wonderful to be a part of a movie anchored by actors who are also writers - and I would echo that sentiment regarding the screenplay. The script is fast-paced and while sometimes nonsensical (New Hampshire a short drive from Princeton?) keeps one connected to the story and the characters.

Finally, as someone who has worked at the University and is familiar with the admissions process both as a mother of a college kid and an administrator, I would say, while the plot to Admission is farfetched, the adage, "Just be yourself," rings true. There is a college out there for everyone - and aah for the good old days (when I applied to college) when you only applied to a couple of schools, you wrote a couple of essays and you took the SAT with no help from Kaplan.

Maybe we will have a "Back to the Future" experience with college admissions: Just say no (to resume building) and be yourself.



Moderated by Wendell Collins.

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