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

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

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Monsieur Lazhar Tops Genie Awards

Fellag, Monsieur Lazhar Philippe Falardeau's Monsieur Lazhar, the tale of an Algerian immigrant and middle-school teacher who changes the lives of several of his students, won a total of six Genie Awards — the Canadian Oscars — including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Fellag), Best Supporting Actress (Sophie Nélisse), and Best Adapted Screenplay (also Falardeau, from Evelyne de la Chenelière's play). [Full list of Genie Award winners.] Ten days ago, Monsieur Lazhar lost the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award to Asghar Farhadi's Iranian drama A Separation. The film's producers, Luc Déry and Kim McCraw, were also behind Denis Villeneuve's Incendies, last year's Genie winner and another Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee. (Seven of the last ten Best Picture Genie Award winners were at least in part French-language Quebec-made productions.) After winning Best Director, Falardeau made the sort of declaration that drives libertarians and their right-wing fellow travelers up the wall. By the way,
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SXSW 2012: Todd Rohal’s ‘Nature Calls’ and more added to line-up

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

Narrative Spotlight

Blue Like Jazz

Director: Steve Taylor, Screenwriters: Donald Miller, Steve Taylor, Ben Pearson

A Texas college student flees the hypocrisy of
See full article at SoundOnSight »

SXSW Finalizes Schedule With LCD Soundsystem Doc, Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Sleepwalk,’ Todd Rohal’s Latest & More

  • The Film Stage
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.

Narrative Spotlight

Blue Like Jazz

Director: Steve Taylor, Screenwriters: Donald Miller, Steve Taylor, Ben Pearson

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.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Line-Up of Canadian Films at Tiff 2011

Yesterday, the Toronto International Film Festival, which will take place between September 8 and 18, unveiled the list of Canadian films that will be screened.


A Dangerous Method Director: David Cronenberg Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Sarah Gadon


Director: Ken Scott

Cast: Patrick Huard, Antoine Bertrand and Patrick Labbé

Take This Waltz Director: Sarah Polley Cast: Seth Rogen, Michelle Williams and Sarah Silverman

Canada First

Marécages Director: Guy Édoin Cast: Pascale Bussières, Luc Picard, Gabriel Maillé and François Papineau

Amy George Directors: Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas Cast: Gabriel del Castillo Mullally, Claudia Dey, Don Kerr and Natasha Allan

Nuit #1 Director: Anne Émond Cast: Catherine de Léan and Dimitri Storoge

The Odds Directors: Simon Davidson Cast: Tyler Johnston, Calum Worthy and Julia Maxwell

The Patron Saints Directors: Melanie Shatzky and Brian M. Cassidy

Roméo Onze Director: Ivan Grbovic Cast: Ali Ammar, Joseph Bou Nassar, Eleonore Millier, May Hilal
See full article at The Cultural Post »

See also

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