Venkovský Ucitel (The Country Teacher) (2008)
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Critic Reviews for Venkovský Ucitel (The Country Teacher)
It's the kind of film that Hollywood used to excel at but no longer seems interested in making.
The film boasts subtle performances and curious situations with unpredictable outcomes.
The film is graced with lovely performances by Pavel Liska as the teacher, Zuzana Bydzovska as Marie and Ladislav Sedivy as the boy.
Despite all the pain and self-loathing of its wounded characters, it's a pretty, heartwarming picture that tells us everybody needs somebody to help shatter that ol' boulder for good.
Liska, who looks like a Central European version of the young Harvey Keitel, has a kind of pitch-perfect opacity.
Audience Reviews for Venkovský Ucitel (The Country Teacher)
This was a film that will make some very uncomfortable and that portrays some very real people dealing with some very real issues. Petr (Pavel Liska) is a tormented soul who relocates from a posh private school in Prague to a small-town public school. The reasons for his leaving only become clear as the film progresses. He befriends a widow, Marie (Zuzana BydzovskÃ¡), and her troubled son, Lada (Ladislav SedivÃ 1/2). But the friendship is hampered by Petr's personal issues, and by the history that his new friends have experienced. All of this is carefully revealed through a natural story-telling style that kept the viewer engaged. There were a few issues that rankled, including some playing to stereotype, and a couple of very annoying characters. Although the flaws keep this viewer from giving it more than three stars, it was not enough to put one off completely.
In "The Country Teacher," the headmaster(Cyril Drozda) wonders why Petr(Pavel Liska) has come to the country from Prague to teach. Could it have something to do with his formerly teaching in the same school as his mother(Zuzana Kronerova)? Regardless, Petr fits in well in his new home, befriending Marie(Zuzana Bydzovska), a single mother and farmer, but chooses not to reciprocate her feelings. And he's gay, by the way. "The Country Teacher" is a gentle movie whose impact is lessened by its rambling episodic structure. On the other hand, it does work well with the bucolic setting of a small town where the rapid transit consists of tractors and a rowboat.(Actually, there is one bus...) And the movie gracefully treats its characters without condescension, using the slow pace of the characters' lives to represent the slow pace of the acceptance of gay rights in the Czech Republic. Along these same lines, the movie takes a very cautious approach(we find out Petr's gay when he tells his mom) and in a dark moment, it reinforces a particularly nasty stereotype.
A languid film into which dramatic vignettes drop, almost like a surprising find of a piece of actual strawberry in strawberry ice cream. Anyway, a conflicted gay man exiles himself to the country, where he takes a job as a teacher and is quite good at it. He attracts the attention of the local widow, but her teen rebel son is more his bag, with disastrous consequences. A lovely film about desire and papering over one's difficulties with the pleasure of 'honest' work.
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