Focus Features’ Admission Unites Industry’s Funniest Players
NBC and Universal Pictures icons Tina Fey and Paul Rudd have climbed Hollywood’s comedic heights and now team for the first time in what is also their first film for Focus Features.
Fey’s 30 Rock, one of the longest-running and most successful comedies on television, said goodbye this year after seven seasons and a total of 90 Emmy nominations. She also led January’s Golden Globe Awards to its highest ratings in six years for NBC alongside co-host and former Saturday Night Live colleague Amy Poehler.
Rudd’s This is 40, which was released in December, was one of the winter’s biggest hits, grossing $17.5 million in its first five days. The actor’s credits include the previous Universal Pictures hits Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Admission, directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz(About a Boy), continues what has already been a great year for Focus Features. The studio has enjoyed both commercial and critical acclaim, earning a total of six Academy Award nominations for the cinematic marvel Anna Karenina, the delightful Moonrise Kingdom, and the animated feature Paranorman. Anna Karenina took home Oscar gold for Best Costume Design at the awards in February.
Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Paul Rudd (This is 40) are paired for the first time on-screen in Admission, the new comedy/drama directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz (About a Boy, In Good Company), about the surprising detours we encounter on the road to happiness.
Every spring, high school seniors anxiously await letters of college admission that will affirm and encourage their potential. At Princeton University, admissions officer Portia Nathan (Tina Fey) is a gatekeeper evaluating thousands of applicants. Year in and year out, Portia has lived her life by the book, at work as well as at the home she shares with Princeton professor Mark (Michael Sheen). When Clarence (Wallace Shawn), the Dean of Admissions, announces his impending retirement, the likeliest candidates to succeed him are Portia and her office rival Corinne (Gloria Reuben). For Portia, however, it’s business as usual as she hits the road on her annual recruiting trip.
On the road, Portia reconnects with her iconoclastic mother, Susannah (Lily Tomlin). On her visit to New Quest, an alternative high school, she then reconnects with her former college classmate, idealistic teacher John Pressman (Paul Rudd) – who has recently surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), a gifted yet very unconventional New Quest student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption years ago while at school. Jeremiah is about to apply to Princeton.
Now Portia must re-evaluate her personal and professional existences, as she finds herself bending the admissions rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the future she thought she always wanted – and in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.