Astrology: Film: ‘Admission’ (2013)

Focus Features

Being an admissions officer at Princeton University suggests a fascination with noble Jupiterian concerns such as higher mind and an eagerness to expand the noggins of incoming freshmen. Unfortunately, Portia Nathan (Tina Fey), Admission’s unlikely heroine, is so bogged down by Saturnine rules, metrics and weeding out the chaff that her tightly coiled self – in the romantic department, too – needs a total overhaul.

Jupiter’s emissary in Admission turns up as John Pressman (Paul Rudd), Portia’s college classmate. He’s now running New Quest – an archetypally fitting name, given Portia’s challenges – an experimental high school where courses like animal husbandry broaden non-traditional students’ minds. And has he got a student for Portia – Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), a brilliant young chap who’s got only rotten grades to show for his years at school. Can Princeton bend to admit him? Can Portia?

The movie, directed by Paul Weitz, cleverly makes Portia a student in the potentially Jupiterian university of her own mind, and the fun is waiting to see whether she’ll opt for that planet’s archetypal route of unbridled joy. The large planet’s “jovial” reputation is a huge factor here, tempting her to ditch a Saturnian career track in which she’s not fully invested.

Portia’s ferociously feminist mom Susannah (Lily Tomlin, who steals every scene she’s in, especially when wielding a shotgun) does her best to assist, but the challenge falls squarely on John to foster Portia’s shift in priorities, which also includes addressing whether Jeremiah is the child she gave up for adoption years ago.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Portia rises to the occasion.

Astrology Film Rating: ♃ (Jupiter)

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