23 user 31 critic

A Teacher (2013)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 6 September 2013 (USA)
1:51 | Trailer

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A high school teacher in Austin, Texas has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end.



3,983 ( 279)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Genitempo ...
Cody Haltom ...
Robby King ...
Mark Farely ...
Sophia's Father
Michael J. Wilson ...
Sophia's Brother
Don Hampton ...
James (as Donald Hampton)
Tony Layson ...
Westerbrook Faculty
Elana Farley ...
Westerbrook Faculty


Diana Watts is an English teacher at Westerbrook High School in Austin, Texas. A longtime and continuing undisclosed issue between her and her mother may be only one factor in Diana looking for love in the wrong place. That place is at school, as she has just embarked on a secret affair with one of her students, Eric Tull. This relationship is the most fulfilling she's had in quite some time. A few incidents and the first real close call in being caught leads to Diana calling off the affair several months in, as she finally comes to the understanding that being caught would certainly mean the end of her teaching career and her good reputation. This close time away from Eric also gives Diana the opportunity to look at their relationship through a slightly different perspective, with the old adage of absence making the heart grow fonder kicking in. As such, Diana gets torn between doing what she knows is the right thing by staying away from Eric, or listening to her troubled heart, her ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

6 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

En lærer  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


is based on a very simple script with just a few lines. Most of the lines are improvised, which, the idea was, to make the film more alive. See more »


Version of A Teacher See more »


Alphabet Song
Written by Jana Hunter, Geoffrey Graham, William Adams, Nathan Nelson and Carter Tanton
Performed by Lower Dens
See more »

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User Reviews

A difficult, moving, heart-wrenching piece
16 December 2014 | by (Los Angeles, USA) – See all my reviews

Firstly, ignore these stupid reviews: if your highest idea of film is a typical brainless Hollywood structure with the inciting incident, setback, climax and happy ending - as i suspect the reviewers so far hold - you will be disappointed. And good riddance. The less we have of this mindless, brainwashed notion that every film should conform to a 120-min clichéd set of min-by-min peaks and troughs, the better.

It's only 75mins instead of 120mins? Boo hoo. It doesn't have a happy ending? Shut up. It doesn't have your stupid clichéd "plot" structure you get in every film? Waaah, waah, waah.

If that's the basis of your criticism, it's not the writers to blame: it's you. You, the viewer, are an idiot.

I experimented with this on Netflix as a wildcard watch, despite the cheap, smutty cover which does it a horrendous disservice. I was genuinely surprised and heartened by what i discovered in it. And you know it's done well when your chest hurts afterwards.

The film is absolutely carried by Lindsay Burdge, who gives an unbelievably sincere, empathetic, moving, and sensitive performance: one of the best i've seen in years for an indie flick. I say that as someone who works in film every day, and who forwarded the piece on to a few people as a classic example of first-class artistry. The supporting cast are perfectly reasonable, although perhaps the male counterpart is slightly implausibly mature - it ultimately countermands the relationship to make it more sympathetic.

The story is essentially of one woman's descent into obsession and madness, laced over a very tense and awkward contrasting ascent of tension and difficulty: it's touch-sensitive stuff, with a strange quality that does very much keep you involved with the heavy air of tension. I suspect the writer was tempted to tone it down; the Shakespearian touch would have done well here: a murder at the end of it, or some vile, terrifying conspiracy to really anchor it down. The sex scenes are erotic, tastefully filmed, and coarsely authentic.

I'd compare the subtlety of it to "Notes on a Scandal" (2006) with Judi Dench: centred around an apparently harmless female lead, who sinks under the weight of her increasing needs and compulsions. If one theme emerges, it's the idea of loneliness: you can *feel* the loneliness of the character; coldly alone in her apartment, emotionally isolated, foolishly childish, and of course, hopelessly naive.

It's not event-driven per se, and that's absolutely fine, no matter what the idiot i-want-bruce- willis-don't-make-me-think hoard says. It's a character-driven piece, and a refreshing internal look at an alternative side where the apparent sexual predator is the fool. We don't find out how it happened, why, or where it concluded, and we don't need to - it's showing us the world from her point of view, which is ambiguous, convoluted, and blinded.

The sad point about a title like this is that the marketing and distribution people clearly dumped it, and it may unjustifiably disappear into the ether. It needs a better cover, maybe an HBO slot, a different sales angle, and a more agreeable pickup team.

If you're one of those idiots who watch something like this and whinge that it's not a usual, familiar Hollywood-style happy-ended turd, please do the rest of the world a favor and just throw yourself off a bridge. Stick to comic book movies and stuff about jaded ex-law enforcement types killing TheTerrorists (TM). You're the reason interesting little pieces like this drop down the list, when they should be moving upwards on it.

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