'Admission' quirky yet thoughtful

In the off-kilter charmer Admission, Jeremiah Balakian (Nat Wolff) is a high school underachiever with a good head on his shoulders but an inconsistent report card.

Jeremiah's earnest principal, John Pressman (Paul Rudd), is so determined to get his misfit star pupil into a good school that he calls his old college classmate Portia Nathan (Tina Fey), a Princeton admissions officer.

John also thinks he has discovered a familial connection between Portia and Jeremiah, an adoptee the same age as the child Portia placed for adoption when she was an undergraduate. Believing that she is Jeremiah's birth mother, Portia's maternal instinct kicks in.

Like director Paul Weitz's excellent About a Boy, Admission is quirky but also a serious film about life, relationships and growing up, with a gloss of humor.

As the Princeton professor who's asked to give Jeremiah a recommendation, based on the boy's performance of an awkward ventriloquist skit inspired by philosopher René Descartes, says: "Weird. "I liked it."

Extras include the featurette Early Admission With Tina Fey and Paul Rudd.

Admission retails for $29.98 on DVD or $34.98 on Blu-ray.


These DVDs also were released this week:

Films: Dead Man Down; The Host; Tyler Perry's Temptation; Spring Breakers; The Gatekeepers (documentary); The Power of Few; After Newtown: Guns in America; Combat Girls (2011, Germany); Arthur C. Clarke: The Complete Collection (eight-disc collector's set); The Life of Oharu (1952, Japan, The Criterion Collection); Marvel Knights Animation's Wolverine: Origin; My Best Enemy (2011, Austria); Our Wild Hearts; Women Who Kill (comedy revue by Amy Schumer, Rachel Feinstein, Nikki Glaser and Marina Franklin); Would You Rather; For Richer or Poorer; Frontline: Never Forget to Lie; Dark Power; Best of Daizy.

TV series: The Twilight Zone: The Complete Third Season; Unforgettable: The First Season; Portlandia Season Three; Bonanza: The Official Sixth Season (1964-65, two multidisc sets); Dynasty: The Seventh Season (1986-87, two multidisc sets); Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Enter Shredder; How the West Was Won: The Complete First Season (1977); Warehouse 13: Season Four; Ben 10 Omniverse: Heroes Rise; The Legend of Korra: Book One — Air; Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1999; How the States Got Their Shapes: Season 2.