8 items from 2012
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
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Given its stellar competition at this year's Oscars, it's not surprising that Monsieur Lazhar did not take home the award for Best Foreign Language Film. But this quiet, deeply affecting Canadian import is no less deserving of the honor than the winner, Iran's A Separation. Set during a dreary Montreal winter that reflects the movie's tone in so many ways, Monsieur Lazhar is an astute commentary on the art of teaching, an exploration of the cyclical nature of life and a powerful meditation on loss and grief.
The film opens at the start of a typical elementary school day that delivers a shock to everyone: A teacher has hanged herself in a classroom, and two of her students, Alice (Sophie Nélisse) and Simon (Émilien Néron) are deeply disturbed after finding the body. The horrific event casts a pall over the school and leaves the stunned but stoic principal, Mme. Vaillancourt »
- Don Clinchy
Film: Monsieur Lazhar (2011) Cast includes: Mohamed Fellag (L'ennemi intime), Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx (C.R.A.Z.Y.), Brigitte Poupart (Congorama) Writer/Director: Philippe Falardeau (It's Not Me, I Swear!) Genre: Drama | Humor (94 minutes) French with subtitles The colors of Montreal's winter are "white, gray and dog piss yellow." In the snow-covered schoolyard, Alice reminds Simon, "Your turn for the milk." Simon goes ahead of the others, gets the milk and brings it around... but the classroom door is locked. Through the window, he sees the partially concealed body of Martine, their teacher. She's hanged herself from a pipe. In the moments before the other teachers have frantically herded the 6th graders back outside, Alice gets a glimpse, too. It'll be a long time before they get past the nightmares. The classroom is painted a different color. They bring in a psychologist to work with the kids. And Madame Vaillancourt is trying »
- Leslie Sisman
Title: Monsieur Lazhar Director: Philippe Falardeau Starring: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron, Brigitte Poupart, Danielle Proulx A Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee from (French) Canada, “Monsieur Lazhar” is a psychologically perceptive, humanistic tale of adolescent grief, wayward adult yearning, and how emotional healing can often arrive from the most unexpected sources. Anchored by an award-winning lead performance, the understated movie develops slowly, like a Polaroid, into something greater than the sum of seemingly simple parts. After a grade school Montreal teacher shockingly commits suicide, Algerian immigrant Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag) shows up at the office of the beleagured principal (Danielle Proulx) and pitches himself as a replacement, with almost [ Read More ] »
ComingSoon.net has received an exclusive clip from Monsieur Lazhar , writer/director Philippe Falardeau's dramedy opening in theaters this Friday, April 13. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Monsieur Lazhar tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher and trying to heal. Bachir Lazhar (Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors. Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx and Brigitte Poupart star. »
In less than a month the SXSW Film Festival will kick off (Friday, March 9, to be exact), and the line-up keeps getting better and better. The festival has announced some exciting additions to their already-stellar line-up including the Sundance hits Safety Not Guaranteed, Searching for Sugar Man, Chasing Ice, Shut Up and Play the Hits, Sleepwalk with Me along with the world premiere of Steve Taylor‘s Blue Like Jazz, and Todd Rohal‘s Nature Calls. They have also added the Oscar nominated Montreal film Monsieur Lazhar which we have championed since its World Premiere at Tiff.
You can find the lineup of today’s film announcements below, and check the entire schedule, complete with both screening and conference dates and times, at www.sxsw.com/film.
A Texas college student flees the hypocrisy of »
After a few announcements, the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival has firmed up their schedule, adding a number of notable films including a few we saw at Sundance. Among them include the LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits (review here), Mike Birbiglia‘s Sleepwalk With Me (review here) and Safety Not Guaranteed (review here) starring Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass. Also jumping out as one of my most-anticipated is Todd Rohal‘s The Catechism Cataclysm follow-up Nature Calls, with Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville and Rob Riggle. Check them all out below for the festival kicking off March 9th.
A Texas college student flees the hypocrisy of his religious upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at ‘the most godless campus in America.’ Based on the New York Times bestseller by Donald Miller. »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
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 :
"...in 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
8 items from 2012
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