admission-movie-review-kc

Are you going through 30 Rock withdrawal? There’s no need to fear because Tina Fey‘s currently at a theater near you. The actress, producer and writer stars in the new film Admission. Directed by Paul Weitz, and based on the book of the same name, Admission is a humorous and heartwarming character-study.

The Players:

  • Director: Paul Weitz
  • Screenwriter: Karen Croner, Jean Hanff Korelitz (novel)
  • Cast: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Nat Wolff, Gloria Reubun, Wallace Shawn, Lily Tomlin, Michael Sheen, Sonya Walger

The Plot:

Portia Nathan (Fey) is an admissions officer at Princeton University. Every year she sifts through thousands of applications to find the best students. On one of her routine recruiting trips, she visits an alternative school called New Quest. It’s there that she meets teacher John Pressman (Rudd), who introduces her to Princeton hopeful Jeremiah (Wolff). He leaves out the fact that Jeremiah might be the son Portia secretly gave up while in college.

The Good:

  • Tina Fey: What a refreshing performance. Fey proves that she’s more than just a comedic actress. There are moments where she wears her heart on her sleeve. She seamlessly goes from surreal to grounded without missing a beat.
  • Realism: Admission isn’t a fairytale. It tackles a real topic, which affects millions of people. Some parents yearn to reunite with the child they gave away, while others
  • prefer to leave it alone. Fey’s character treads the line between both. The idea of knowing her son is thrilling, but also terrifying. It disrupts her “perfect” life and forces her to revaluate her priorities.
  • Tone: This goes in line with the realism. Screenwriter Karen Croner is able to balance the good with the bad. The light and the dark. There are honest emotional moments opposite pure silliness. The scenes between Fey and onscreen mom Lily Tomlin are a prime example.

The So-So:

  • More Michael Sheen Please: Sheen is a hilarious actor. He has amazing chemistry with Fey, which most of us saw when he guest starred on 30 Rock. But they don’t spend nearly enough time together here. As her estranged boyfriend, most of his screentime is spent (literally)ducking in and out of scenes.
  • The Ending: The film’s final act is polarizing. On one hand it should be praised for not taking the easy way out. On the other, some might be left with unresolved issues. With a story like this you can’t have it both ways. We personally love the route they took and wish other films were brave enough to do the same. Not everything needs to be wrapped up in a neat little bow.

Overall:

Admission is good, but not a great film.  If anything it’s a wonderful vehicle for Fey that allows her to show some range. Her character isn’t perfect and at times can be unlikeable, but Fey makes it work. We want to root for her, we want to see her happy.

The Rating:  8/10

Admission opens in theaters March 22.

Photo Gallery:

Trailer:

Will you be seeing Admission this weekend?