The English Teacher (2013)

Refuse to live life by the book.

Plot outline

An English teacher's life is disrupted when a former student returns to her small town after failing as a playwright in New York.


An English teacher's life is disrupted when a former student returns to her small town after failing as a playwright in New York. - IMDb Editors

Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is a forty-year-old unmarried high school English teacher in the small town of Kingston, Pennsylvania. She shares a small apartment with two Siamese cats and her rich collection of great literature. She maintains no close personal relationships aside from those she has with her favorite authors and stories. Her life is far less complicated than the dramas she devours on the page, and she likes it that way. But Linda's simple life turns an unexpected page when former star pupil Jason Sherwood (Michael Angarano) returns to Kingston after trying to make it as a playwright in New York. Now in his 20s, Jason is on the verge of abandoning art, pressured by his overbearing father, Dr. Tom Sherwood (Greg Kinnear), to face reality and go to law school. Linda can't stand the thought of Jason giving up on his dreams so she decides to mount his play - a dark, angst-ridden, ambitious work - as a Kingston High School production, with flamboyant drama teacher Carl Kapinas (Nathan Lane) directing. As Linda, now well out of her normal comfort zone, takes further risks in life and love, the stage is set for highly comic downfall. With the play, her reputation, and her teaching career on the line, Linda finds an unlikely ally in herself. Amidst the ruins of her formerly perfect life, can she find a way to her own unique storybook ending? - Cinedigm

In Kingston, Pennsylvania, 45-year-old lonely spinster Linda Sinclair is a high-school English teacher with a routine life. She loves literature. When she stumbles with her former student Jason Sherwood, she learns that he has returned from New York after failing as a playwright in Broadway. Linda borrows his play named "The Chrysalis" to read and she loves the play. Then she shows "The Chrysalis" to the drama teacher Carl Kapinas and they decide to produce the play in the high-school. However Vice Principal Phil Pelaski and Principal Trudie Slocum are against the production since the conclusion is too dark for the students and they can not exceed the budget. Carl offers to change the ending and Linda offers to cover any amount that exceeds the budget. However, along the rehearsals, the naive Linda learns that real life is not a literature and people are flawed and may disappoint. - Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Would be playwright Jason Sherwood returns home to Kingston, Pennsylvania, after Broadway exhausted his patience to get performed. Stumbling upon his greatest fan, lonely spinster Linda Sinclair (45), his high-school English teacher without any social life, who maces him by mistake, he reconsiders starting law school as his domineering father, Dr. Tom Sherwood MD, insists and accepts her plea to have the school perform his largely autobiographic debut play Chrysalis. Directing drama teacher Carl Kapinas and she have a hard time selling to bully vice principal Phil Pelaski and principal Trudie Slocum a play ending in suicide, or any alteration to Jason, but trick both. Things get further complicated by 'forbidden love' and jealousy getting out of hand in various ways, but the premiere takes place against expectations. - KGF Vissers