Miss Stevens is a surprising indie about a teacher and 3 students who go to a drama competition. Lily Rabe stars as Miss Stevens, the teacher.
Written and directed by Julia Hart (Jordan Horowitz co-wrote), Miss Stevens never went where I expected it to go. The clichés I expected about teachers and students would almost show up, but the film would turn away from them at the last minute.
One cliché that did annoy was the overly flamboyant gay teen Sam (Anthony Quintal). He should have been toned down a few notches. The other teens under Rachel Stevens’ care for the weekend at the drama competition were Billy (Timothée Chalamet) a bad boy James Dean knockoff at first glance, and Margot (Lili Reinhart) an overachieving blonde beauty who somehow avoided being the school mean girl. Sam was underdeveloped, but we see into Billy and Margot more clearly as the weekend progresses.
Rob Huebel played Walter, another high school teacher with kids at the competition.
Lily Rabe as Rachel Stevens was the fascinating character. She was sensitive, vulnerable, and a paradox. A grown up, valuable teacher while a bit broken about other things. The story revolved around Rachel Stevens, with the other characters showing up to help us learn more about her. Lily Rabe did a beautiful job revealing Rachel Stevens to us.
Timothée Chalamet was excellent in his part. He’s a talented young actor to watch.
This wasn’t the best film ever. Sometimes it was a bit ridiculous. But it was a good film and a touching portrait of a teacher learning how to navigate her life and her career.