Best Movies by Farr

Stand and Deliver

Stand and Deliver Poster
Stand and Deliver Poster

Released

1988

Runtime

104

Stand and Deliver

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What's it About

Based on real-life events, this inspirational drama concerns Jaime Escalante (Olmos), a Latino math instructor who institutes an advanced-placement calculus course in an under-resourced East L.A. public school. With a mix of humor and tough love, Escalante pushes a motley group of barrio kids to excel beyond their wildest dreams.

Why we love it

Superbly directed by Menéndez for PBS's "American Playhouse," "Stand and Deliver" is a cut above most motivational storytelling; it bypasses sentimentality in favor of a more complex, authentic tone. Olmos is a marvel as Escalante, a brilliant but idiosyncratic educator, and he deservedly nabbed an Oscar nomination for his performance. Among a dynamic supporting cast, Lou Diamond Phillips also impresses as the troubled youth who faces a choice between gang life and academic glory.