"What do you think the teacher's gonna look like this year?"
---'Hot For Teacher' Van Halen
It's often the indie film that manages to create the most thought provoking tales while daring to paint outside the lines. Unfortunately, indie filmmakers often forget or neglect to finish coloring in the shapes as in the teacher seduction tale gone wild, "A Teacher."
Diana (Lindsay Burdge) has a secret lover as is revealed early on through suggestive texts. With a schoolgirl bounce in her step, she meets Eric (Will Brittain) and proceeds to have hot sex in her car. Not only is Eric a bit younger than Diana, but he's also a student in her high school English class. Through the course of their affair, Diana goes through a gamut of emotions with the exception of guilt. Her paranoia of getting caught easily transitions into her anxiety at knowing the good times will soon come to an end, something that Burdge handles with ease. Brittain's Eric fits the big man on campus archetype but without the arrogance where he's expected to go on a binge of abuse. In other words, he's just out to get laid and happy that he sis.
Writer-director Hannah Fidell turns what could be a Lifetime special on its head by making Diana's character far more complex than the average 80's-90's actor who signs up for these kind of parts. Burdge's pain and frustration is evident in a series of close-ups that show her moody and anguished, although you're not sure at times if it's due to the affair or something deeper. Like many indies, the quest to be unique comes at the cost of needed conformity. Diana's brother is introduced early in the film, but isn't heard from again despite claiming to be concerned about her slowly fracturing mental state. Diana has a past, but like many of her thoughts, we're kept in the dark leading to an ending that feels uneven and unfulfilling.
A Teacher - Not Rated. Includes sexually explicit scenes, language and mature subject matter. Running time: 77 minutes. In limited release and on Video On Demand.