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Nursery University


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Frequently Bought Together

Nursery University + The Manhattan Directory of Private Nursery Schools, 7th Edition
Price for both: $42.35

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Marc H. Simon, Matthew Makar
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001P8M9FU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,832 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nursery University" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Elaborate application forms. Grueling interviews. $4,000 consultants. College admissions? No - welcome to the preschool application process on the island of Manhattan. NURSERY UNIVERSITY takes an entertaining look at the shark-infested waters surrounding the most prestigious nursery schools in the country. For many parents, the right preschool means the right college and career for their child, and with 20 applicants for each spot, the process can be a grueling eight months. Told with humor and humanity, NURSERY SCHOOL reveals the sweet insanity of it all.

Customer Reviews

Having said that, I liked that the documentary followed a very diverse group of parents and children.
Melissa
The parents believe that a good nursery school with lead to a good pre-school, etc, etc, until the child eventually makes it to Harvard.
Vegas1234
The parents seemed like crazy lunatics just so their kids can play with playdough and sing nursery rhymes all day.
Pretty Lady

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Beatrice Izzey VINE VOICE on February 4, 2011
Format: DVD
It's a documentary, but almost all of the characters are laughable shells of human beings. It's an anthropological study, a highly entertaining, hilarious one.

It's all surface agitation. Little introspection. No wisdom. Just yuppies doing what they see their peers doing. Monkey see monkey do. No critical ability. Ants and rats, going to and fro.

Lots of the people featured are first generation largely white newcomers to Manhattan/NYC, and seem unaware that they to an extent chose to enter a highly insular, regimented social milieu with its own arbitrary rules. They do not recognize that there are million other legitimate ways to live and educate children.

All the parents are reading the one book in print re nursery schools in NYC (by Victoria Goldman) and none of them seem to have thought that there are hundreds of perfectly good schools in other neighborhoods but are completely omitted from this book.

Rent it on Netflix; no need to buy. You won't want to watch it again. It's not artsy or timeless. It's more like social farce lite.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Karen Sampson Hudson on June 21, 2010
Format: DVD
This film is uproariously hilarious on many levels. Sources of laughter include the grammatical errors made by wealthy Manhattan parents and the directors of pricey ($20K per year) nursery schools, the unrelieved seriousness with which they take themselves, and their rock-solid certainty that NYC is the center of the universe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sambadoll on October 25, 2012
Format: DVD
I wholly diagree with the reviewers who were digusted with the parents. I felt that most of the parents cared very much for their children! I saw the parents interacting with their children positively such as playing with them, teaching them numbers and how to spell their names. I feel that the pressure was put upon themselves, and never for the children to behave a certain way. And whoever thinks it's dumb to pay that much money for a school has obviously lost sight of porportion. $20k to them may be a $200 to you. I think it's silly to spend $100 for a new video game or up to $200 for the coolest new shoes for school, but lots of people do it. If they have it, they should spend what they like, it's not coming from you!

As for the movie, I like that they used a broad spectrum of people: the rich snobs you imagine, the more down to earth rich people, the poorer minority, the bohemians and the single mom with special ed requirements. I wish they went more in depth with the real reason these families go through this process. I suspect for the wealthy families, it not just about education, but more aboout networking. Your kids will grow up next to kids of the other social circles you wish to interact with. Isn't that what Ivy League is for? Plenty of schools are excellent and will produce adults with great careers. Ivy League has a network that opens into (or maintains) a certain social circle that education by itself can't get you. And networks do help in life! I'd say it's most important. Most people I know got their job by knowing someone who knew someone. For the immigrants, I'd like to see more of what kind of education was a good education to them. What is their acceptable standards? For the single mom, I want to know if she felt guilty for having a child that was slightly developmentally impaired?

The movie was a clean and bright view of world many of us don't get to see, which was a documentary should be.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Wild&FreeUp North. on October 20, 2010
Format: DVD
I have seen NURSERY UNIVERSITY on cable several times...I watched it with fascination in spite of myself. Years ago, when I was in my early 20's, I took a break from college and lived and worked in Manhattan...surely the epicenter of the universe, I thought...the place where IT all happened...a place of endless possibilities...provided one had sufficient funds to enjoy it all. My experience there provided part of my fascination with this movie, which is exceptionally well produced and edited. While the subject matter isn't going to appeal to a wide audience, it has a universality which is compelling...we all want our kids to have every advantage possible, to do whatever we can as parents to give them the education that will propel them ahead and into successful adulthood. What Nursery University does is examine a minuscule segment of the population that is in the 99th percentile in terms of income and advantage, as a group of parents voluntarily ratchet up their already high stress levels in pursuit of what they have convinced themselves is the "magic key" to unlimited possibilities for their offspring. While the saga is engaging and very entertaining, the longer I watched it, the more I kept asking myself: "what will happen to all those children that DIDN'T make the cut..are they doomed to the periphery?
Furthermore, do these parents REALLY BELIEVE getting a spot in the top play school is going to make that much difference in 20 years? What about, if after thousands of dollars spent on tuition to all the best schools, smart little Judy or Johnny finds out being at the top of the heap just isn't what it was cracked up to be....
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vegas1234 on August 21, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Wow...from the "drunk with power" admissions advisers to the "crazy look in her eye" stepford mom, to the sexually confused super anal dad, this doc is a fun ride beginning to end. These folks approach the nursery school admissions process with the same vigor as a deluded stalker. The most fun was watching the the admissions rip the parents to shreds in the decision making process. This precarious situation gives these teachers some power and they lord it over these foamy mouthed parents with cruel delight. I wish they would have included more footage of this and let it get really nasty. Like any good doc, there are a few redeemable parents and teachers who come across as sympathetic to balance the insanity.

The parents believe that a good nursery school with lead to a good pre-school, etc, etc, until the child eventually makes it to Harvard. I do think we live in a society that places a value on credentials. I would be interested in a follow-up with these children or a poll of recent ivy league graduates' nursery schools. I went to a private liberal arts college and this actually reminded me a lot of the Frat/Sorority rushing process. The rationale being that if you made it into the right sorority you would have good contacts and get the right job, etc. Is the notion of contacts a ridiculous idea? I don't think think so, but I personally think there are other things that are much more important to success. Gives one something to think about.
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