AdmissionFeature Film | Paul Weitz By Adrienne McIlvaine
Fey's dramatic debut is sweet, sad and very good.
A drama with a sharp sense of humor, Admission is a subtle, un-sentimental film that dives into the deep end of parental insecurity. Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is a veteran of the Princeton college admissions team saddled with a bored long-term boyfriend Mark (Michael Sheen) and a firm belief that her ordered life is exactly what she wants. So when Mark leaves her to start a family with a controlling Virginia Woolf scholar and her boss announces he's retiring, Portia risks everything by forging an unusual relationship with John Pressman (Paul Rudd), the globe-trotting director of an experimental high school and Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), a brilliant, idiosyncratic student who just may be the son she secretly gave up for adoption.
A poignant mix of humour and heartbreak, the film brings depth and warmth to its messy exploration of parenthood, family, and the desire for change. It smartly juxtaposes the competitive admissions process with the flawed family relationships that form the heart of the film, and lays bare the struggle to be a good parent while still maintaining an individual identity. Lily Tomlin shines as Susannah, Portia's independent, Erica-Jong-quoting feminist mother whose efforts to mold Portia in her image have only succeeded in driving her away, and the rest of the talented cast includes Gloria Reuben as Portia's cheery workplace rival and newcomer Travaris Spears as John's rebellious adopted son. Fey and Rudd have an easy natural chemistry, and their budding romance is as sweet and awkward as anything in real life. By the end, Portia's advice to eager Princeton applicants -- that there is no magic formula -- also serves as an apt descriptor for her unexpected journey.
|Admission Official Trailer #2|