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Eleven students conspire with their teacher to cheat on an academic competition.

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Jolie Fitch
...
Constantine Kiamos
...
Darius Bettus
...
Matt Kur
Dov Tiefenbach ...
Irwin Flickas
Dan Warry-Smith ...
Paul Kurgan
Anna Raj ...
Agnieska Maryniarczyk
Dominik Podbielski ...
Dominik Wesolowski
...
Robert Clifford
...
Larry Minkoff
Lenka Peterson ...
Mrs. Plecki
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Jerry Marconi (as Alex Poch Goldin)
...
Corrine Davis
...
Joan Isenberg
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Storyline

In the fall of 1994, a teacher at Chicago's run-down Steinmetz High recruits seven students for an academic decathlon team. They work long hours, preparing for the February regional event, won for ten straight years by a privileged, preppy school. Steinmetz finishes just well enough to be invited to the state meet. When a team member steals a copy of the state test, the teacher and kids face a dilemma: to remain honest, or to cheat and score a victory for kids in underfunded schools. When they do well, they must face a withering barrage of investigations, accusations, lawyers' lies, and reporters' intrusions. Is it all worth it? What lessons does cheating teach? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Putting The System To The Test

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 May 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Farsa  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, director John Stockwell and his production crew discovered that they were prohibited from entering the real-life Steinmetz High School just to film on location in the building. Therefore, even though they were unwelcomed and uninvited on the campus grounds, they managed to film the outside front of the building. Most of the filming took place inside a Toronto high school, which was used in place of the real school. See more »

Goofs

Although the scandal took place in 1995, the bottom of the page of the Chicago Sun-Times that Irwin Flickas is looking at clearly states "Vol. 53 No. 11 2000". See more »

Quotes

Jolie Fitch: Dr. Plecki is amazing. He's a really good teacher.
Darius Bettus: Well, what's he doing here?
See more »

Connections

References Rocky (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Roads
Written by Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley
Performed by Portishead
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant - Seek Out This Movie!
24 May 2000 | by (California) – See all my reviews

I was so stunned by the power of this movie that I had to watch it a second time to give it a more objective assessment. I came away from the second viewing every bit as impressed.

We learn from the opening scene of the movie that things will turn out badly for the cheaters, the kids who made up the 1994-95 Academic Decathlon team for Chicago's working-class Steinmetz High, and that their downfall was of their own making. But this movie refuses to be a simple morality play. It looks at the scandal from the viewpoint of the participants, and examines why they cheated and how they came to justify their actions. It's a refreshingly honest look at how effectively the mind can blur the distinction between right and wrong. Each character's moment of decision is captured so effectively that the viewer may very well find himself rooting for the teacher and his students as they exult in their short-lived triumph.

The whole story plays out in a realistically-portrayed inner city school, and succinctly presents the values that flourish in such an environment, where ideas of what's fair are colored by the feeling that life hasn't been very fair to these kids from the very beginning. One comes to realize that the central characters' greatest triumph came not in their ill-gotten victory, but in simply wanting to overachieve against all odds in such an environment.

The acting in this movie is top-notch across the board, from Paul Sorvino, Jeff Daniels, and each of the seven kids. But special mention has to go to Jena Malone for her memorable portrayal of Jolie, the brilliant and sharp-tongued inspirational leader of the team who remains defiant to the very end.

I give this movie a 10!


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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