Austin Film Festival: 'Tenure'

Luke Wilson’s performance is as warm as a cardigan sweater.

Austin Film Festival: 'Tenure'

Stuck in a third rate college where he really has no interest in being, Professor Charlie Thurber (Luke Wilson) is doing his best to win the tenure race.

While his pretentious colleagues, and his father (a one-time professor at Yale University) make him feel inferior because of his inability to publish, what the audience knows about Charlie is that he’s a good friend, a good guy, and more importantly, a good teacher. Wilson’s performance is as warm as a cardigan sweater. So, when a perky new hire (Gretchen Mol) threatens Charlie’s already shaky position, instead of swerving into high anxiety Wilson plays it close to the chest. A good choice, given that David Koechner (TV’s Numb3rs), as Charlie’s friend and colleague who is obsessed with proving the existence of Big Foot and get rich quick schemes, brings about as much wackiness as Tenure needs. The even-handedness of the film (directed by Mike Million) is part of its charm. And while it’s clear what’s coming long before the end of the film, the journey to the obvious conclusion is no less satisfying.

Tenure screens Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 7pm, Regal Arbor.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Austin Film Festival
Gary Hart Biopic <i>The Front Runner</i> to Close Austin Film Festival
AFF Announces Second Wave
New films by Yorgos Lanthimos, Asghar Farhadi added to fest

Richard Whittaker, Sept. 12, 2018

AFF to Honor Larry Wilmore
AFF to Honor Larry Wilmore
Festival celebrates long impact of writer and comedian

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 28, 2018

More by Belinda Acosta
Margaret Moser Tribute: Marcia Ball
Marcia Ball
“She’s a music writer who writes to enlighten”

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: Eliza Gilkyson
Eliza Gilkyson
The best advice she ever received? Keep your dogs clean.

June 30, 2017


Austin Film Festival, Luke Wilson, Tenure, Gretchen Mol

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle