‘The Teacher’

theteacher.poster.ws_Corruption in a 1980s Bratislava high school as the new teacher ensures she gets what she wants from both kids and their parents – in return for high grades. And her connections within the Communist Party ensure that no one dare stand up to Miss Drazdechova (a splendidly malevolent and manipulative Zuzana Maurery – Colette, Thanks Fine).

Director Jan Hrebejk (Oscar nominated Divided We Fall, Kawasaki Rose) keeps the tone  sardonic and caustic rather than overly grim as parents finally appeal to a higher authority.

Rating: 73%

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‘The Zookeeper’s Wife’

zookeepers_wifeOverly sanitised telling of the true story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski, owners of the Warsaw Zoo who saved the lives of more than 300 Polish Jews in World War II.

A leaden script and pan-European casting (along with Jessica Chastain – The Help, Zero Dark Thirty) doesn’t help a turgid, uninspiring narrative. Director Niki Caro (North Country, Whale Rider) noticeably misses the storytelling boat – somewhat unforgivable considering the source material.

Rating: 42%