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 PG-13       3.85 stars out of five


I admit I went to see “Admission” today, and I am neither sorry nor ashamed to admit it. Though I am still worried that Virginia Tech will find out they admitted me in 1977 even though I never took a foreign language class in high school.

Portia (Tina Fey of 30 Rock) is an admissions counselor at Princeton, and for 16 years has passed judgment on others. This made it easier to let her own life slide into a comfortable boring existence with none of the aspirations of her applicants. Her desktop bonsai plant is over-pruned, just like her life, which is one of the best metaphors I have seen in a while.

She visits a new school run by John (Paul Rudd of I Love You, Man) to meet Jeremiah (Nat Wolff of New Year’s Eve), a special student who wants to get into Princeton. As Portia’s perfect Princeton profile goes kaput, these new oddballs start to rub off on her. And speaking of oddballs, her mother is played by Lily Tomlin (I Heart Huckabees). There are some other solid subplots and characters, but director Paul Weitz (In Good Company) never takes us far away from the core of the story – that Portia from Admissions has some things she never admitted to anyone, including herself. I enjoyed her quest to determine what degree of pedigree is important to determine who or what we become.

The movie is billed as a comedy, and I laughed out loud several times, but the heart of a drama is there as well. Tina Fey’s manic nature and Paul Rudd’s….Ruddness (there’s no other way to describe it) are a perfect match.  You are glad when the bonsai plant dies, and she finally says “Bonsai!” with her life. A bunch of other stuff happens, but I don’t want to cheat and tell you about it. You will have to see the movie for yourself, and do your own report.

I give this movie a 3.85 GPA out of 5.  There are no explosions, and I think the only CGI was Lily Tomlin’s breasts. This is the kind of movie that Tracy and Hepburn would have done, and if you don’t know what I am talking about you don’t deserve admission into “Admission.” You should stay home and Netflix “Adam’s Rib,” and then you will know what it means to have class


Tom Basham is an indie filmmaker.

Here is a link to his movie review site:


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