Fall From Grace: Our Review of ‘Accepted’

Posted in Movies by - July 18, 2022
Fall From Grace: Our Review of ‘Accepted’

In March 2019 The New York Times broke the college admissions scandal that affected 50 individuals, from the rich and famous to college coaches and exam administrators. They came under investigation for admitting kids to Ivy League schools and other elite institutions in exchange for $15 million. Some saw jail time, and all were publicly shamed for their part in it. A few months before that, the T.M. Landry College Preparatory School of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana was in the newspaper’s sights. The school received accusations of doctored transcripts and abusive behaviors towards their students. Dan Chen’s Accepted takes a closer look at the school’s downfall. It has exclusive access they might not have had in the first place thanks to a documentary they were already filming about something entirely different.

Accepted starts by looking at a series of viral videos filmed of  T.M. Landry’s students receiving their college admission notices. It was these videos in 2016 that garnered the school national attention, and the filmmakers were curious at the secrets behind how their students managed to be so successful. After all, the school is in a community with mainly low income, Black households. And yet 100 percent of their students got into college. A third of them heading to some of the biggest schools across the country. At first the secret seems to just be hard work and determination, combined with caring teachers, paying off. But then the newspaper article came out and darker possibilities for their success started to reveal themselves.

Some senior students claimed that they really didn’t learn anything at the school. That the staff doctored their marks, and other staff members made up their achievements. They claimed that the school pulled strings with colleges that were desperate to bring more diversity to their student body. On top of that, some students claimed that Landry’s staff physically and mentally abused them. Or that they witnessed him tormenting others. Although the accusations put a dark stain on the achievements of the school and has put them under investigation, it’s still running today.

There are a few examples of previous scenes being staged by Landry without the knowledge of the documentary makers, but is it really enough for the viewer to conclude that the school is guilty? Even when former students talk about abuse, all they are willing to say is that it happened, with no details given. It also doesn’t tell viewers why the whistleblowers decided to speak out when they were so close to graduating.

Accepted is a decent film to watch. But without any sort of conclusion, other than seeing the happy endings for the main students interviewed for the film, it leaves you without full satisfatcion.

This post was written by
While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
Comments are closed.