The Kindergarten Teacher

The Kindergarten Teacher ★★★½

Writer-director Sara Colangelo does an immaculate job of twisting the film tighter and tighter with every scene, till the last 35 minutes or so are almost nauseatingly tense. It's maybe a bit contrived and better as an exercise than the diagnosis of a disordered character in a cold world that it thinks itself to be, but Maggie Gyllenhaal's tightly reined-in performance of a preternaturally calm veneer covering exhaustion, disappointment, and desperation does a whole hell of a lot to keep this focused on its humans.