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2012 | 2011

12 items from 2012


Monsieur Lazhar DVD Review

30 October 2012 6:22 AM, PDT | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Films about teachers and students are commonly inspirational melodramas about overcoming adversity inside and outside the classroom. The teacher is usually a newcomer to the school and initially dismissed by the students, but over the course of 90 minutes or so they wind up touching each other's lives and all that mushy stuff. It's a formula audiences are comfortable with. Writer-director Philippe Falardeau's Monsieur Lazhar breaks this mold and delivers a haunting look at grief, compassion, and boundaries through the eyes of both children and adults, while also examining the bureaucratic problems in contemporary teaching. Hit the jump for my review of Monsieur Lazhar on DVD. Based on the one-man play by Évelyne de la Cheneliere, Monsieur Lazhar begins with a shock. A boy named Simon (Émilien Néron) returns from recess to discover his teacher, Martine, has hung herself. Her swaying corpse is seen by one other student, Alice (Sophie Nélisse »

- Patrick Cooper

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Monsieur Lazhar | DVD Review

2 October 2012 9:30 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Writer and director Philippe Falardeau’s most recent film (in many books the Best Foreign picture runner-up), Monsieur Lazhar is a surprisingly tender reconnaissance of our current educational practices while plunging headlong into the psychology of dealing with death. It seems Falardeau feels that as a society we’ve become afraid of physical contact for fear of parental backlash, whether it be a warning slap to the back of a disruptive child’s head or a consoling shoulder-bound embrace in the wake of shocking tragedy. His film challenges this ideology by placing an Algerian immigrant of traditional values at the head of a class of youthful pupils who recently endured the suicide of their former teacher while he himself grieves over the loss of his wife and daughter.

Mohamed Fellag plays Bachir Lazhar, a warm, but secretive new instructor in a small Montreal public grade school. Lazhar has taken the »

- Jordan M. Smith

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

4 September 2012 7:35 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com 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@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Monsieur Lazhar – Review by Le Movie Snob

1 June 2012 4:41 AM, PDT | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Review by Barbie Snitzer

Barbie Snitzer has worked in the entertainment industry in the Us and France.  The combination of both passions distinguishes her blog Le Movie Snob where she regularly posts on American and French movies. Comments in English and/or French are welcomed.

http://lemoviesnob.com/

Aesthetes recognize the sublime in beauty’s imperfection.  Would one consider the Vénus de Milo as great a piece of art with arms?  Every child, even in the U.S., can identify the Leaning Tower of Pisa,  famous because of its architectural defect.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to list all of  great art’s imperfections, nor am I going to condone the moron who took a hammer to Michaelangelo’s David.  Only the artist has the right to determine the imperfection, and vandalism is not art, otherwise, there would be a museum of graffiti.

In today’s world when movies are made by corporations, »

- Movie Geeks

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Review: Monsieur Lazhar

3 May 2012 11:30 AM, PDT | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

 

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

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Monsieur Lazhar Review: Socially Relevant, Oscar Nominated Drama

2 May 2012 2:10 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This year’s Oscar-nominated Monsieur Lazhar is a film that some of our own politicians, teachers and school administrators could definitely benefit from seeing. That it is Canadian and spoken mostly in French does little to stifle a relevance sure to span education systems far and wide.

A teacher’s suicide at a Montreal elementary school is the film’s opening statement, providing writer-director Philippe Falardeau with the necessary berth to discuss a wide array of subjects, from death, to war, parenting and education to name but a few. As we observe how this shocking act affects a class of children, the school’s staff, and especially their new teacher Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Said Fellag), Falardeau’s film most prominently notes the pervasive nature of death, how it hovers like a spectre. It is a force which can render even the most sensible of us entirely irrational, »

- Shaun Munro

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Popcorn Preview: Monsieur Lazhar

27 April 2012 7:33 AM, PDT | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

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

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Review: 'Monsieur Lazhar' A Meek & Restrained Crowd Pleaser

11 April 2012 10:03 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

When "A Separation" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film last month, I was thrilled -- Asghar Farhadi's splendid domestic drama is one of the best things I've seen in the past few years. But it also came as a genuine surprise, because I was convinced the Canadian film "Monsieur Lazhar" was going to win. Gentle and understated, Philippe Falardeau's film is a classy crowd-pleaser, the kind of mild effort that makes people shake their heads imagining what awfulness would be done to it in an American remake. It is also nothing to write home about, though it features a strong turn from Mohamed Saïd Fellag, who plays the title character, and some very good child performances.

"Monsieur Lazhar" is adapted from a play by Évelyne de la Chenelière about an Algerian immigrant, Bachir Lazhar, who's hurriedly hired at an elementary school to take the place of Martine, »

- Alison Willmore

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Exclusive Clip From Oscar-Nominee Monsieur Lazhar

10 April 2012 | Comingsoon.net | See recent Comingsoon.net news »

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. »

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SXSW '12 Review: 'Monsieur Lazhar' A Meek & Restrained Crowd Pleaser

13 March 2012 12:45 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

When "A Separation" won the Academy Award for best foreign language film last month, I was thrilled -- Asghar Farhadi's splendid domestic drama is one of the best things I've seen in the past few years. But it also came as a genuine surprise, because I was convinced the Canadian film "Monsieur Lazhar" was going to win. Gentle and understated, Philippe Falardeau's film is a classy crowd-pleaser, the kind of mild effort that makes people shake their heads imagining what awfulness would be done to it in an American remake. It is also nothing to write home about, though it features a strong turn from Mohamed Saïd Fellag, who plays the title character, and some very good child performances.

"Monsieur Lazhar" is adapted from a play by Évelyne de la Chenelière about an Algerian immigrant, Bachir Lazhar, who's hurriedly hired at an elementary school to take the place of Martine, »

- Alison Willmore

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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 :

"...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

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Sundance 2012: Monsieur Lazhar Review

21 January 2012 6:03 PM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

Teachers can inspire, but we already know that.  At some point in our lives, we had at least one teacher who truly enriched our lives by helping us grow as human beings rather than just making sure we made it to the next grade level.  But in movies, teachers can only be inspirational if they can somehow "reach the unreachable".  The great teachers are the ones who go to the bad neighborhoods, keep the kids out of gangs, and put on leather jackets to show they can relate to life on the streets.  Monsieur Lazhar eschews this superhero-teacher in favor of one who has a class of kids who are ready to learn, but have also had a brutal lesson on death and betrayal far too soon.  By turning attention away from big dramatic speeches in favor of strong, quiet performances and non-saccharine sentiment, Monsieur Lazhar isn't just a nice movie about inspirational teachers, »

- Matt Goldberg

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2012 | 2011

12 items from 2012


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