Now streaming on Netflix is writer/director Jason Strause‘s mockumentary Teacher of the Year. Starring Matt Letscher and the always great Keegan-Michael Key of Key & Peele fame, the film debuted in April 2014 at the Newport Beach International Film Festival before playing the fall festival circuit and ultimately releasing to the general public this past May. While it hasn’t found a huge audience, the pic currently holds a 100% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes which it earns by being a funny, smart, and heartfelt look at the American public school system.
Teacher of the Year is primarily set within the walls of the fictional Truman High School in California and revolves around Letscher’s Mitch Carter who has recently been awarded California Teacher of the Year. The premise is simple: Mitch is a caring, intelligent, hard working teacher who must decide whether to continue in the profession he’s passionate about or accept an educational lobbyist position in Washington D.C. that will immediately pay him almost triple his modest teacher salary. In a lot of ways, the pic feels like a feature length episode of The Office in its prime. On more than one occasion you will laugh, consider the message, and feel an emotional connection with a character in a single scene. Accomplishing all of the above is no easy task and it’s the reason why I say Teacher of the Year is worth checking out.
This week’s recommendation in hand, let’s get to the Top 5: