Starring: Hillary Swank, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Glenn, Imelda Staunton, April L. Hernandez, Mario, Jason Finn
The 1992 Los Angeles riots and gang wars created a deeper racist divide amongst people than it already was. The city got divided into territories and young teenagers who should be in school were instead carrying guns and were thirsty for the blood of rival gang members. Erin Gruwell (Swank) is newly appointed English teacher at the Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach. The school was once a very prestigious institute which has now been downgraded because of the recent integration. Teenagers who come from criminal backgrounds and from juvenile jails are forced to attend school or face going back to prison. Erin realises that teaching them is not as easy as she thought it would be, especially when the students are not interested in learning from her and fights break out every now and then. The head of department Margaret Campbell (Staunton) refuses to allocate school resources to her because she thinks it would be a waste and the students would get nothing out of it. Gruwell goes against the tide to give her students a better life and tries to teach them beyond what she set out to teach in the classroom. Hillary Swank has always been known to put on a fabulous performance and this movie is no different. Along with a very good support cast, the movie shines out tremendously and keeps you gripped in your seat for a very long time. A highly recommended watch for everyone.
Thumbs up: Brilliant performances
Thumbs down: Flawless