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Pressure Cooker - Movie Review

Culinary Arts Prep High Schoolers For Life

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Pressure Cooker - Movie Review

Wilma Stephenson and Student

In Pressure Cooker, Wilma Stephenson, the tough-minded and tender-hearted culinary arts teacher at inner city Philadelphia's Frankford High School, stirs students to strive to better their lives.

Successful Slice Of Life

Filmmakers Mark Becker and Jennifer Grausman follow Mrs. Stephenson as she primes the thirteen students in her kitchen classroom to compete in the annual culinary arts contest for college scholarships. Stephenson's demanding, outspoken, quirky and dedicated. She cares. She yells. She won't accept work or attitude that's 'too ghetto.'

Stephenson coaches her kids about how to dress for their senior prom as well as how to dress the plate they're going to present to the chefs who will judge the contest. And, in a school that suffers from a 40 percent drop out rate, she's stirring her students to succeed. They're hungry for a better life, and she nourishes them.

As a lead character, Stephenson is certainly interesting enough to capture our interest, just as she commands the attention and loyalty of her class.

The kids represent well, too. We have a quarterback hero who's as good at tossing salads as he is at passing a football, a girl who's emigrated from Africa and is determined to take advantage of the amazing opportunities her new country offers her, and another girl who excels in her studies while taking care of a younger handicapped sister. They're great kids, and we wind up rooting for them.

Stephenson and the students are an inspiration. Pressure Cooker is the antithesis of slice and dice!

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Film Details:

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Directors: Mark Becker and Jennifer Grausman
  • Release Date: Theatrical Release May, 2009
  • Running Time: 99 mins.
  • Parental Advisory: Content advisory for parents
  • Country: USA
  • Location: Philadelphia, UA{/li}
  • Language: English
  • Company: Non Sequitur Productions/Participant Productions
  • Theatrical Distributor USA: Bev Pictures
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