Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Levine|
|Produced by||Wren Arthur|
Jared Ian Goldman
|Written by||Richard Levine|
|Based on||Blue Angel|
by Francine Prose
|Music by||Jeff Russo|
|Edited by||Jennifer Lee|
Ospringe Media Limited
Submission is a 2017 American drama film written and directed by Richard Levine, based on the 2000 novel Blue Angel by Francine Prose. The film stars Stanley Tucci as a college professor who becomes obsessed with a student (Addison Timlin). The film had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 19, 2017.
Ted Swenson (Stanley Tucci), after publishing his first novel, which earns him a little fame, begins his career as a creative writing teacher at the (fictional) Euston College in Vermont, hoping to soon leave it after he publishes another hit novel, but gets stuck in that job for about 10 years and becomes a tenured professor. One of his students, Angela Argo (Addison Timlin) requests him to read the first chapter of her novel, 'Eggs', which he does and finds the writing style impressive. His colleague Magda (Janeane Garofalo) tells him about the vulgar poems Angela wrote when she took her class, and tells him that she actually insisted on making it a donation to the college library. Though librarians found the poetry about a phone sex worker rather obscene, they decided to keep it as an act of good faith.
Ted checks out that poetry book which primarily consists of erotic conversations between a phone sex worker named Angela 911 and her clients. Later, he attends a dinner at his colleague's place along with his wife Sherrie (Kyra Sedgwick), where they all discuss about new campus sexual harassment rule-book and how political correctness is affecting their teaching style.
Ted praises Angela's writing and encourages her to write more; she in turn gives him increasingly erotic later chapters of her novel. Ted, reading her novel, which is about a teenage girl sexualizing her science teacher, starts imagining himself as that science teacher but tries to keep their relationship professional. One day, Angela asks him to give her a ride to Burlington to get a new laptop. After returning to the school, she invites him into her dorm room to set up her computer. Though reluctant, Ted follows her and soon, she comes onto him and they quickly begin to have sex. However, before they can finish, Ted's weak tooth comes out and they humorously decide to postpone sex for some other time. While leaving her room, Ted meets one of his other students who eyes him suspiciously.
One day during class, Angela blatantly tells another student that her plot and characters are weak. While the students expect Ted to reprimand her, he does nothing and, after everyone leaves, Angela asks Ted to show her novel to his agent. Though surprised, Ted agrees and actually meets his agent but the agent shows disinterest in reading a newbie's novel. Later, Ted tries to explain the situation to Angela but she becomes furious, shouting that she only slept with him in hopes of getting to a reputed agent through him. Shocked, Ted says he didn't think their relationship had anything to do with business and Angela angrily leaves.
The next day, Ted gets a call from the university board and learns that Angela has filed a sexual harassment suit against him and produced tape of their previous day's conversation as proof. Everyone, including his wife, blames him and, after his students and some faculty members testify against him, he loses his job, marriage and reputation. However, Angela gets a call from Ted's agent, who now shows interest in her work in light of the controversy. Fifteen months later, Ted is seen writing his memoirs in a cafeteria and when he sees a woman at his table reading the 'Eggs' novel, he asks her how she likes the book.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 50%, based on 40 reviews, with an average rating of 5.7/10.Metacritic gave the film a score of 52 out of 100 based on 12 critical reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".