Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Good Student (4 Stars)

Hayden Panettiere plays a cheerleader. Now where have I seen that before?

History teacher Ronald Gibb (played by Tim Daly) is a loner who lives in a trailer and watches porn films with titles like "Young, blonde and ready". He has a crush on his 17-year-old student Ally Palmer (Hayden Panettiere). After he gives her a ride home from school one evening she disappears, and he is the main suspect. He offers a $68,000 reward for her return in an attempt to prove his innocence. But even if he can escape prosecution for kidnapping his reputation is already ruined when a photo is published of him kissing Ally.

This is a minimalist low budget film, but its sparseness is fascinating in itself. It shows the hidden secrets and hypocrisy in small town Poughkeepsie. It's better than a lot of films with bigger budgets.

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