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Why “The Kindergarten Teacher” is Worth the Watch

The critically acclaimed movie The Kindergarten Teacher directed by Sara Colangelo and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal is without doubt, worth every second to watch. To get through the movie requires some substantial amount of tolerance. Especially, if you believe that teachers are capable of crossing “ethical” lines for their students, that are in kindergarten.


Now, I know the concept of the movie sounds disturbing and concerning, but I believe this is all done with good cause. For the sake of preserving the events that occur in the movie, I will refrain from spoilers. Although that is the case, I will present some points to look out for. And why I strongly believe you should keep an open mind when watching the movie.



Pictured above is Gyllenhaal’s character, Mrs. Spinelli, and one of her students, Jimmy Roy. Early on in the movie, we learn that Jimmy is gifted in the poetry department: a poetic prodigy. Mrs. Spinelli takes a liking to Jimmy and makes it a goal for herself to get his talent made aware to the public eye. What happens in turn for this goal of hers is questionable by today’s standards of morality.


In the 21st century, we push for talent and individuality. But how much of that do we actually push for when we see it? We have come to a society where we believe that we are catering to those who are talented and gifted by recognizing them, yet we are nowhere near going about truly pushing those with such gifts to unleashing their full potential. Instead, we happen to follow trends and whatever in the moment garners the most attention. Our society functions on what causes reactions and because of that, we happen to ignore those who are truly gifted and have no desire to make them heard.


Besides talents, our future is geared towards a more technological based environment and it can harm those who aren’t a part of technologically based talents. Our society constantly says they want to promote an environment where it is inclusive and emphasizes the best of everyone, but we only do so if it is within the likings of what is dominant at the time. The lack of appreciation for prodigies, especially in humanities and arts fields, are being undermined. As an audience member of the movie, you need to keep in mind that Mrs. Spinelli is pushing for inherent talent to be applauded and made the best of. What was deemed talented during the Renaissance Era was seen as something that people would constantly implement their time and efforts into cultivating.


Either way, The Kindergarten Teacher is worth the watch. Everything done in the movie may leave you uncomfortable, but the uncomfortableness of the movie is due with importance.

Kayla Ishisaki

Washington '21

Undergraduate student at UW Seattle.
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