review by Bobby Blakey
Despite not being the box office draw he used to be and having some personal issues that have been made very public I am still a massive Johnny Depp fan. While he has a lot of big films throughout his career some of my favorites were his smaller lesser known ones. His latest I knew nothing about is The Professor co-starring Rosemarie DeWitt, Zoey Deutch, and Ron Livingston. Could this be a Depp film worth living for or will it lose tenure?
The Professor follows Richard, a buttoned-down college lecturer who, after learning he has six months to live, transforms into a rebellious party animal. To the shock of his wife and school chancellor — and the delight of his students — Richard leads a hilarious crusade against authority and hypocrisy. Going in I had seen the trailer, but still wasn’t overly sure if this film was going to work, but in the end it worked way better than I thought it might.
This film felt like old school Depp back when he took on films like Chocolate, The Libertine and Blow. I loved his performance here coupled with a story that offers up a lot more than you might think on the surface. I think audiences have come to expect his bigger over the top performances like Jack Sparrow, but here is toned down and more personal feel and works on every level. Sure there are some by the numbers elements here and not anything we haven’t seen in some form, but its Depp that elevates it to something special.
It’s a simple movie featuring a tragic story of this man that allows Depp to go through a wide range of emotions all leading towards living his life the way he wants and inspiring others through his new found free will living. The supporting cast are all good, but this is Depp’s show all the way. I was so glad to see him doing something smaller like this that let him just showcase his talents without all the spectacle of the effects and size and instead just great acting.
This release features the film as well as a behind the scenes featurette taking viewers behind bringing this film to life. Head to school and grab your copy of The Professor is available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.