Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos)
Everything Edward James Olmos does in Stand and Deliver is done with serious intent; even his bad combover is proof that his Jaime Escalante is a serious math geek. Like the real-life Escalante, the movie version is convinced that his students — mostly poor and Latino kids — that the system has largely given up on as barely literate, can learn calculus.
When several of them earn top scores on the Advanced Placement calculus exam, no one can believe it – including the testing service, which accuses the students of cheating and invalidates their scores. Escalante is insulted, but months after their last class, and with only one day of preparation, the students retake the test and still pass. Olmos uses his usual humorlessness to good advantage. As Escalante, he’s not going to cut anyone any slack, not even himself
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