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2 items from 2012

Blu-ray Review: ‘Monsieur Lazhar’ Stands as One of the Year’s Best Films

4 September 2012 7:35 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – When the Academy nominates a film before it’s even been released in America, they end up doing it a disservice. Once the film finally shows up on American screens, the Oscar nominations have already faded from memory. This method also allows the Academy to ignore all the great films that audiences have actually seen during the past twelve months.

Instead of nominating a widely praised gem like Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy,” which received a March 2011 U.S. release, for the 2011 Oscars, the Academy chose unknown pictures such as Philippe Falardeau’s “Monsieur Lazhar,” which didn’t receive a U.S. release until April 2012. But as Lou Lumenick recently reminded me via Twitter, critics can do whatever they want. Thus, I am declaring “Monsieur Lazhar” as one of the very best films of 2012, and the only one (so far) that has caused me to weep.

Blu-ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

Perhaps »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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"Monsieur Lazhar" Nominated For An Oscar

24 January 2012 11:34 AM, PST | SneakPeek | See recent SneakPeek news »

The Canadian French-language feature "Monsieur Lazhar', nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category @ the upcoming 84th Academy Awards, is the 2011 drama directed by Philippe Falardeau, adapting a one-character play by Évelyne de la Chenelière :

" Montreal, after an elementary school teacher kills herself, 'Bachir Lazhar', an Algerian immigrant, is quickly hired to replace her while still grieving over the loss of his activist writer wife, who was killed in an arson attack.

"Despite a cultural gap, Lazhar quickly gets to know his students after the first lesson. As the class tries to move on from their former teacher's suicide, nobody at the school is aware of Bachir's painful past and the fact he could be deported at any time given his status as a refugee..."

Cast includes Mohamed Saïd Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx, Brigitte Poupart, Jules Philip, Daniel Gadouas, Louis Champagne, Seddik Benslimane, Marie-Ève Beauregard and André Robitaille. »

- Michael Stevens

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