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Miss Stevens - DVD Review

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Miss Stevens - DVD Review

4 stars

So many movies have been made about inspiring teachers, you wonder what’s left to say about them. But the indie drama Miss Stevens tells a fresh new story about a very human, flawed English teacher named Rachel (Lily Rabe from American Horror Story) who connects with three of her students while chaperoning them to a drama competition one weekend. The kids are Margot (Lili Reinhart), a hardworking Tracy Flick type; Sam (Anthony Quintal), a somewhat stereotypically gay drama queen; and sensitive, rebellious Billy (Timothee Chalamet), whose interest in Miss Stevens seems more than academic. He keeps calling her Rachel and asks, “Do you have a boyfriend?”

"a well-acted drama that will make you wish you’d had a teacher like her."


Out of the three, Billy has the greatest acting ability. He’s also troubled, which is not helped by the fact that he’s gone off his medication for a behavioral disorder. His relationship with Miss Stevens is fleshed out more than the others, and she struggles to maintain professional boundaries. She reveals the reason for her fragility: a year ago she lost her beloved mother, an actress. (Sadly, this has a real life parallel for Lily Rabe who lost her own mother, acclaimed actress Jill Clayburgh.) Based on the poignant scene where Miss Stevens breaks down in front of Billy, it’s easy to see why Lily Rabe won the Special Jury Award for Best Actress at the SXSW Film Festival. First her character sobs helplessly, and then she realizes how vulnerable she’s become with a student. “You have to go,” she insists, pushing him toward the door. Miss Stevens seeks comfort from another teacher, a married man (Rob Huebel) whom she has a drunken fling with, but of course it ends badly.

Miss Stevens - DVD Review

The performance of Timothee Chalamet also deserves special mention, as he’s mesmerizing playing the disturbed but talented Billy. Miss Stevens has to tread carefully because she senses his attraction to her; she needs to set firm limits, but at the same time she bonds with him on a personal level. They admit that they don’t have many friends. Billy’s emotional problems and Rachel’s unresolved grief both create individual brokenness that draws them closer to each other. But since she’s still his teacher, before the weekend ends she has him retake a test on The Great Gatsby.

Julia Hart, who directed and cowrote Miss Stevens, used her own experiences teaching high school as inspiration. That explains why her characters (Rachel in particular) are so realistic. Miss Stevens is a well-acted drama that will make you wish you’d had a teacher like her.

Miss Stevens - DVD Review

MPAA Rating: Not rated.
Runtime:
86 mins
Director
: Julia Hart
Writer:
Julia Hart, Jordan Horowitz
Cast:
Lily Rabe, Timothée Chalamet, Lili Reinhart
Genre
: Comedy | Drama
Tagline:
Everybody needs a chaperone.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I can't walk away from you right now."
Theatrical Distributor:
The Orchard
Official Site:
Release Date:
September 16, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
June 5, 2018
Synopsis: Stuck at a crossroads in her personal life, it falls on Miss Stevens to chaperone three of her students Billy, Margot and Sam on a weekend trip to a drama competition. Exploring the fine line between being a grown up and being a kid, MISS STEVENS is about students becoming teachers and teachers coming to realize that the messiness of youth never really goes away.

Miss Stevens - DVD Review

dvd

DVD Details:

Home Video Distributor: The Orchard
Available on Blu-ray
- June 5, 2018
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Language and Sound:
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

  • None

Miss Stevens - DVD Review

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