Movie Review: Admission (2013)

Directed by: Paul Weitz 

Written by: Karen Croner (screenplay), based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 107 min


Portia Nathan is an admissions officer at Princeton University. John Pressman is the had of an alternative high school. The two meet when John wants Portia to meet one of his students. Secretly, John believes that the boy, Jeremiah, is the baby that Portia gave up for adoption when she was in college. But he presents the boy as a prodigy who would be perfect for Princeton. Over time, Portia begins to believe in the boy as well, even though he is extremely strange. Eventually, she puts her career on the line for the boy who she now knows might be her son. This is part of the plot of Admission. But it's not the whole  story.

The main crux of the story is the relationship between Portia and John. These two could not be more different from one another. Portia has been in the same job for 16 years and with the same man for 12. She is comfortable with the status quo, and she is not comfortable with the idea of being a mother. 

John, on the other hand, has never stayed in one place for very long. He has traveled the world and even adopted a child while living in Africa. He is not in a long-term relationship. 

The two meet (as mentioned above) and the chemistry in undeniable. But first they must deal with their differences. As usual, Tina Fey and Paul Rudd pull it off beautifully. This is not one of those laugh-a-minute comedies. There are moments of drama. But overall, I liked the film. 

The two young actors, Nat Wolff and Travaris Spears, steal every scene they are in. Clearly we will be seeing more from them in the future. But the stand-out performance in the film comes from Lily Tomlin, Portia's femi-nazi mother. At first, she seems a hardened person without one ounce of maternal instinct. She wears her feminism like a badge. But as the film progresses, her vulnerability is laid bare and we see that she just might be the most complicated character in the film.  

I liked Admission. It was entertaining, had a great script, and wonderful performances. If you'd like to see it, you can get it from my Amazon store or download it from iTunes here: 

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