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Nursery University

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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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.

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.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001P8M9FU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,034 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nursery University" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Amazon Video
I was absolutely amazed at what these parents had to maneuver just to get their kids into a 'good' preschool program. What these parents have to go through borders on the insanely absurd. Having said that, I liked that the documentary followed a very diverse group of parents and children. From the higher end two income parents who can afford the best to the lower end working class parents who have to find scholarships in order to obtain the best. Two parent households, single parent households and a range of very young parents to the more mature parents in their 40's and 50's.I also liked that the preschoolers were at different levels of development and maturity, some obviously very gifted to others who were very much 'normal' and then those who seemed to possibly have learning disorders. I enjoyed this documentary very much.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found this DVD to be very fascinating. It documents the crazy process of getting children into preschools in New York City. It follows several families of different backgrounds and income levels as they choose which schools they would like their preschoolers to go to. It shows the entire process, from trying to even get an application to fill out and going on interviews, to finding out if their children were accepted or not. They also show some of the schools' point of view on how they decide who will and will not get accepted. Although it is a little ridiculous at times what the parents will do to get their children accepted, it is oddly entertaining.
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Format: Amazon Video
I think some of these parents have lost perspective about what they are doing and why. Especially Juliana's dad, he seems kooky about the whole application process. This is preschool and they are 3 year olds! I don't think not getting into a $15,000-$20,000 per semester nursery school will ruin anyone's chances of getting accepted into an Ivy years later. Alot of things can happen in the intervening years. I understand the competition due to the limited number of spots and high number of applicants, but really I think some of these parents are losing sight of what's important. Layla's parents seemed the normal. This documentary was entertaining and fun to watch - I can't believe the pressure some of these parents put on themselves.
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