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Admission (2013)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  22 March 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 27,087 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 86 user | 148 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.



(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Lafont
Junior Lafont
James (as Daniel Joseph Levy)
Maggie Keenan-Bolger ...
Girl on Tour
Elaine Kussack ...
Praying Applicant
Smug Kid


Straitlaced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the freewheeling John Pressman (Paul Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted -- but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having. Written by Focus Features

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Get admitted. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 March 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Seleção  »

Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$6,154,984 (USA) (22 March 2013)


$18,004,225 (USA) (31 May 2013)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The real Dean of Admissions from Princeton, Janet Lavin Rapelye, appears in a scene with Tina Fey. See more »


When Mark is reading the book of poetry in bed the book is open at different places in every shot. See more »


Portia Nathan: [to Susannah] What the hell, Mom? Put the gun down!
See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Pacific Rim (2013) See more »


We Are Young
Performed by Vassy
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User Reviews

I admit I liked Admission.
21 March 2013 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

The amusing Admission is the first successful comedy of the year and a reasonable look at the admission process for an elite college--Princeton. Tina Fey as Portia and Paul Rudd as John turn in pleasant performances as an admissions executive and a progressive school teacher respectively. Rudd is amiable here and usually successful in his film career, while Fey's efforts up to now have been mediocre (Date Night, Baby Mama).

As an Alumni Admissions interviewer for over 30 years at Georgetown University, I find much of the story ringing true from the overachieving candidates nurtured by ambitious parents to the underachieving but brilliant and risky individualists. Portia must struggle with the boxed-in role of continuing the Princeton tradition (read stereotypes) or breaking away to push for a student who calls himself an "autodidact" with low grades but perfect scores on achievement tests for courses he never took.

Amid the plot's fierce applicant battle for a slot, Portia and John dance to the usual romantic formula of disliking each other to . . . Well, you know the drill. However, it's their reactions to the admission process that provide the authentic tension as he has developed students with independent minds, and she is used to the cookie-cutter candidates who lack the passion of those independents.

Director Paul Weitz knows something about family dynamics and children with his About a Boy, In Good Company, and Little Fockers among the more obvious examples. Signing up Lily Tomlin to play Portia's feminist mom was inspired; like the ubiquitous aging Alan Arkin, Tomlin should now have plenty of work.

Admission requires no small amount of sympathy for the messy business of growing up and getting ahead—Weitz navigates the vagaries of family ambition well. If the double-meaning of the title seems too precious to you, don't worry, the rest of the story is almost unambiguous.

Although Admission is mostly about applicants to an upper-tier college, it also poses the unethical means some might employ to gain entrance. Even Portia is not blameless, a touch I found in the film's favor while it deals with the unreal segment of our population smart enough to be considered for admission.

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