Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Providence Effect

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild thematic elements
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Reference to poverty and other challenges faced by children and their families
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:September 25, 2009

You often hear the expression “feel-good movie” and it usually refers to a heart-warming romantic comedy or maybe something with penguins. This is a real feel-good movie because it is a real story. A man with a passionate commitment to children, to education, and to his community took a school on the brink of being closed down and made it into a place where teachers and students set, meet, and exceed the highest of standards for achievement in all categories, including character.

The students at Providence St. Mel do not have fancy computers or calculators. They live in a community that struggles with gangs, drugs, and poverty. But they have families who work several jobs to pay a portion of the school’s tuition (every student in the school has a scholarship) and they have teachers who feel lucky to be there and make the students feel lucky, too.

An unabashed valentine to the school, Providence St. Mel, and its driving force, civil rights activist Paul J. Adams III, and at times it feels more like an infomercial than a movie. But it is a genuine privilege to spend time with these passionate, committed students and teachers. We follow the principal through the halls. We sit in circle time with seven-year-olds whose teacher has them not just participating but conducting the session. We see a graduating class that is sending 100 percent of the seniors to top colleges. And we see graduates returning to talk about how Providence St. Mel gave them what they needed to succeed in college, grad school, and the working world. We see their genuine excitement in learning, their pride in their sense of mastery, and the way that the confidence their teachers and parents have in them inspires them to learn. And that may just be the most important lesson that Providence St. Mel has to teach, turning all of us who watch this film into students who want to learn more.



Previous Posts

New on ABC: Black-ish
One of the best new shows of the year is Anthony Anderson's "Black-ish."  Anderson plays Andre "Dre" Johnson has a great job, a beautiful mixed-race doctor wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the mostly-white suburbs.  But now that he has given his children a bett

posted 10:20:50pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Story: Tracks and Robyn Davidson's Long Walk Across Australia
Mia Wasikowska plays real-life adventurer Robyn Davidson in "Tracks," based on the 1980 international best-seller about her 1700-mile walk across Australia with four camels. A thoughtful interview with Davidson in The Australian describes her: Davidson is an enigma. With her patrician air, prim

posted 3:51:08pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: The Dancing Traffic Light
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_0vRnkeOk[/youtube]

posted 8:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of "I Am Eleven"
There's a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey remembered the year she was 11 as one of the happiest of her l

posted 8:09:47pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.