Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Professor (2018)


Summary: A college professor lives his life with reckless abandon after being diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Johnny Depp as Richard Brown. Normally, I would include a “cast and characters” section but there were really only two people I thought stood out the most. I have always loved Johnny Depp and I will continue to love him. Yes, he has had many movie missteps but I will always think he’s talented because he is. He gets to chill in this role, be a bit more reserved but also quirky in the way Johnny Depp is. Richard is an English professor and I think it’s clear to tell that he’s a quirky dude overall, but now he’s not bound by social norms to keep his thoughts to himself, or to “follow the rules”. He’ll now do and say whatever he wants and he often expresses that’s his goal for the rest of his life, however long it will be. I quite enjoyed the first 15 or so minutes when he found out and now, he’s just soaking it in throughout the day. I thought it was some subtle acting in the beginning and then he got to freak out a bit in the pond. Some of his best moments was when he talked to his daughter at the end and the dinner sequence. I also thought Johnny Depp looked really good in this film.
Danny Huston as Peter Matthew. He’s Richard’s best friend and colleague at the college.   He seems to be the more emotional one out of the two and more touchy-feely because as soon as Richard tells him, he slides closer to him in the booth and grabs his hands and Richard is like “not atop the table Peter” lol. But Peter just loves his best friend and he often makes that clear at how much he loves him and admires him. I thought it was sweet. I also quite enjoyed the little glimpse we got into Peter’s life. His wife is a nightmare. Not as bad as Richard’s though, I hated Veronica Brown but they both were unhappy in their marriages, maybe not at first but it ended up that way. But anyway, Peter does everything he can to help and support Richard and he wins the Best Friend Award. When he breaks down in the church, I almost teared up because his reaction and him praying, and then Richard trying to console him as he cried. It was sweet really lol and I thought Danny Huston was great. I’ve seen him mostly in villain roles so it was nice to see him in a mild-mannered character.
Pretty Funny. I laughed quite a bit at this film. Mostly, it’s the stuff that Richard says because now he doesn’t have to have a filter so he says and does whatever he wants. One of my favorite scenes, I rewound it twice, was when he’s in the classroom and he tries a cigarette for the first time and can’t hold it and he coughs in the student’s face who gave it to him. That was hilarious to me and I don’t even know why. Also, most of the interactions with Richard and Peter was funny and I loved his scene in the classroom when he tells pretty much everyone to get out lol. I thought it was smart humor for the most part.
Peter and Richard’s Friendship. They were super sweet. At first, I thought it might have been a little romantic and you can read it like that if you want, but I don’t think that was the intention overall. It was just a really close and personal friendship between these two men and I liked that that was all it was. They weren’t awkward about it. I mean, sure Richard seems to be the less “intimate” of the two, and he would tease Peter about it but it was just clear they’d been friends for years. I liked how worried Peter was for Richard and how he was literally by his side. I mean, he was the first-person Richard told. He didn’t even tell his wife and daughter until the end of the movie. If anything, this relationship was the most important one.
Richard and his daughter. I found that a lot of scenes that involved Richard and his daughter were really sweet. Odessa Young plays Olivia and we don’t get a lot of time with her outside of interactions with her parents. I mean we see her with a friend, but it’s not enough to really like care about her. You care about her because Richard does and it’s clear they have a special relationship. I thought Johnny Depp and Odessa Young really played off each other well and had a really nice father/daughter chemistry. He was really supportive and tender and they have this really good emotional that made me tear up a little.
The Classroom Scenes. I wish there was way more of these scenes because they were my favorite in the film. In one of the first scenes, he embarrasses Zoey Deutch’s character because her phone rings in class. He tells her to stand up and answer it lol that was brutal and I very much enjoyed Depp’s little smile during that scene. Also, when he goes on his rant and tells students to just leave, that was also great. Anytime we went back to the school, or we went back to him interacting with the students, I was like yasss, this is what I came for and I wanted more of that.
Richard’s Wife-Veronica. I did not like her. Literally, in her first scene at the dinner table, I was like “ugh, what a jerk”. First their daughter tells them some important information and she laughs it off. Then she tells her husband some horrible stuff, and when he doesn’t react the way she wants him too, she calls him an asshole. I’m like bruh, you’re the one who’s the asshole. Gosh, I hate her. I hated her throughout the entire movie. Then at the dinner, I WANTED TO PUNCH HER IN THE FACE. The actress was good but I hate her. Horrible character. I did not feel bad for her at all.
A Tad Pretentious. I think movies that handle death have a bit of pretension about them anyway. He talks about life a lot and what they need to be doing and we get beaten over the head with it a lot. I mean, I totally get that it’s something he’s really trying to convince himself of and of course impart this information on these young people since he feels like he’s kind of wasted his life in ways, but jeez, how many times do I have to hear the exact same lesson? I got the first-time thanks.
CLASSROOM SCENES!The movie is called “The Professor” for Pete’s sake! I wanted more stuff with him interacting with the students. I’m pretty sure when I saw the trailer, it indicated that we’d get a lot more interactions with his students. I’m not expecting it to be like Dead Poet’s Society or anything like that but I don’t care about the stuff with his wife. I wanted more at the school because that stuff was the most interesting and the funniest to me.
Abrupt Ending. I don’t care for how it ended. I wasn’t particularly sure if we were going to see Richard die and I was okay with that but I didn’t expect for it to just end. Like I totally get it. He was at a crossroads and he chose not to decide. I get that and I like that BUT it just felt lame after the enjoyable experience of the rest of the movie.
Overall, I enjoyed The Professor. It’s a harmless movie. It’s short and I think it’s a nice experience, especially if you are a fan of Johnny Depp. It’s just a movie that explores a man’s life as he comes to terms that it’s going to end sooner than he thought and now he must decide what he’s going to do with that time, not to mention, he doesn’t want to be a burden to his wife and daughter AND he wants to impart some wisdom on his students. I think that’s straight-forward and I liked going on the journey with him. Johnny Depp and Danny Huston were great. The other actors in the film all do a great job as well. I think it’s pretty funny, and I loved the classroom scenes, I wish there were more. I thought the relationships between Richard and Peter, and then Richard and Olivia were some of the most interesting in the film and I wish we got to see him interact with his daughter more. Now, I did not like Richard’s wife, I hated her entirely. I mean, in ways I understand but she was a horrible person. The movie is pretentious and it does beat you over the head with literally the same lesson, just said in different ways. Also, I don’t quite like the ending. I get it, but I don’t like it. But in the end, The Professor is a fun and quirky film that I think any Johnny Depp fan would want to check out.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Professor? If so, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!
What is your favorite Johnny Depp film? Or, what do you think is his best acting role?
Edward Scissorhands is hands down my favorite Depp film and Edward is my favorite Depp character. BUT I think What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is one of his best acting roles. If you haven’t seen either of those movies, check them out.
Thanks for reading!

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