Kevin Kline stars as Hundert, a respected history teacher at an exclusive boys school, who meets his match in Sedgewick, a new boy who wants only to ridicule and test him. Hundert allows the boy a spot in a prestigious school competition, but he cheats, thus setting his future path. At a reunion twenty-five years later, Hundert discovers that most of his former students turned out to be honorable men, but Sedgewick is not among them.
This film is often compared to other teacher films, as it should be, such as Goodbye, Mr. Chips and The Dead Poets Society. Kline's quiet, confident portrayal of a man who lives by the ideals of honor and duty is wonderful, without being sentimental. Emile Hirsch as Sedgewick is brash and likeable. Joel Gretsch plays Sedgewick twenty-five years later, as a charming, successful, and immoral man.
I heartily recommend this quiet, profound, and realistic film, which shows how one outstanding teacher positively afftects the lives of many, though not all, of his students.