|Index||10 reviews in total|
This is a very touching story, very well done on all levels. A high school theater teacher, suffers from the impolite attitude of her students, and their continuous disrespect. She finds herself with a gun she found with one of her students, and ends up with half of her class as hostages. Here starts the complexed relation between people there. A very important thing that you should know, is the estate of Arab people living in France, their social phobia, and their lack of integration, that led to very big issues lately. That's what this movie talks about. With a great scenario, full of surprises and unexpected events, Lilienfeld makes an emotional social thriller, discussing rights of women, immigrants, Muslims, teachers, respect, pedagogy... Adjani is great in this part, i see she deserves her Cesar, as for the entire cast, especially the teenagers, very convincing. Some "committed thriller movie" is not something we see everyday, so do not miss this good one!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Adjani, as high school teacher, attempts to hold a class on a Moliere's play in the school's small theater. As usual, she receives continuous intimidation, pressures and insults from chauvinist pupils. Then a scrum between irresponsible pupils lead to a gun accidentally falling down at the foot of Sonia. Taking it, she wounds by accident one in the leg, and then initiating an hostage taking. Outside the school, police and political try to react to the situation. Inside the building, using the gun Sonia requires from his students her own vision and finally try to place them in front of their own contradictions : in a real secular society one religion should not be replaced by another one under the pretext of cultural exchanges and social improvements . This film points a finger at the whole confusion in today Western schooled society. This film presents a current and realistic situation!
i am french from pied noir origin. i am definitely touch by this movie. While some peoples might think, the film deals with too many different issues at once.first .Isabelle Adjanie, as usual, play with her tripe's, she play for her life, in this role of a french teacher, who lost the plot. we might think, as some reviews have express, there are concentrating on too many issues, but being from a french mother and Algerian father pied noir, i growth up in the city , as we call it in France, i growth up in the city, and when to a very similar school then the movie, the reason, this really strike a chord. the fact is, yes i did get racketed it, beating up, yes, peoples might choose to ignore or brush the issues the movies address, but i, who has been in the same city school, can assure the public, this movie strike a cord, simply due to the fact i have live every issues, ( except for the rape) address in the movie. this is a very honest and blunt account of what is going on in the poorest city state school! and yes i was in this type of school back in early 80's and the same problem were already present, one would have think, things would have improve, but sadly, today, my brother and my cousin being teacher, i can assure you, they will confirm, the situation did not get better but WORSE! Isabelle Adjanie doesn't act often, it was 6 years since she had made a movie, but Christ, when she take a role, she does not act, she live her part, like there is no tomorrow! With Camille Claudel, this movie top up the very long and incredible journey of an actress, who is probably the best actress we have in France.
excerpt, more at my location - Jean-Paul Lilienfeld has certainly
ensured his new film Skirt Day will be talked about. Not only is it set
in the hotbed of social issues that is Paris' outer regions, it also
sees the return after a five year big-screen hiatus of Isabelle Adjani,
one of the most celebrated actresses in the history of French cinema.
Lilienfeld's film takes place in a lower class high school, and deals
with some of the biggest issues of the day such as race, class and the
French education system.
Full of emotion, hostility and dark humour, Skirt Day provides heart- pounding drama and astute social commentary in equal doses. All of this is capped off with a scintillating performance from Isabelle Adjani, who really does teach a lesson to any aspiring actresses.
A mix of "Entre les Murs" ("The Class"), Michael Douglas' "Falling
down" and maybe "Negotiator" (2008), this gripping even if unlikely
film stars Isabelle Adjani, showing she's a great actress, and Denis
Podalydès as "Brigadier Labouret" , who doesn't have to show anything,
as a cop with problems at home.
Everybody has an antagonist in life, his Salieri. In this case, our brigadier has Bechet, who wants swift action, "shoot first, think later", style. Labouret, maybe because he knows from experience how things can quickly get out of control, tries to help our beautiful heroine, Sonia Bergerac, a literature teacher in an underprivileged state high school. Isabelle Adjani being born outside France, it's clear why she chose to star this film, and some of her monologues when she's not out of control are of course her "message", like when she tries to educate her unruly pupils about the value of education, how they owe it to their struggling immigrant parents to achieve something for all they've left behind, and how life isn't that tough for students like them, but it's ruthless for those (foreigners) who don't.
The State is represented by Nathalie Besançon, (also playing a classy chief at TV series "Enquêtes réservées") always beautiful, but easily misled, and the school principal "Cauvin", a bureaucrat, like all of his kind, trying to save his skin above everything else.
This film will keep you glued to your seat, it would be a disaster on a lesser actress than Adjani. Unpredictable, out of control, "like an actor who has lost his plot" as others have written. My gripes are two: I would have liked a bit more of screen time to "Mouss", the violent bully, and his pal. What makes them be as they are? The same for the female pupils, or should I say victims, Farida and specially Nawel, Nathalie's unlikely ally, also with issues of her own. I also didn't believe in the feminist issues, like the film's title for instance, or Sonia's lecturing on how males and females differ in terms of attitudes towards them when they have sex. For a sophisticated Moliere teacher, I think this sounds too like pop psychology. I mean, is that her "reivindication" for the media, what Labouret asks her, doggedly, and mistakenly of course?
This is also a film that will keep you thinking. What would you do to engage this troubled, rowdy teens if you had to teach them anything? How do you think they'll fare in life? Farid wanting to keep his bonnett is just an example of a bigger issue. Is laicisim just a fancy word with a bunch of violent kids who want to be footballers, read People magazine and participate in TV shows? Sonia, no cultural relativist, (notice her surname, with heavy literary significance) pokes fun at her pupils's lack of intellectual ambitions, in a very "grand actor's" way. She starts by trying to give them the class she never could deliver. Like making them memorize the real and fake name of Moliere, etc. But later, she finally makes them participate in a sort of "Big brother" contest, among themselves, just showing she's beginning to engage the pupils using their codes and language, understanding the limits of XIX century "classical" education, specially to XXI century "fragmented" / postmodern pupils!
The use of classical music (Mozart) to highlight the contrast between it, the "traditional culture" and the "all to modern" world in which our teacher fights is a resource that has been used before, but is effective, nevertheless.
There are two IMDb reviews you might like to check: "ck_104 from Lebanon" called this film a "committed/ social thriller", I think you can't expect a better one. And "herve naudet", himself a pupil like the ones we see at this tough film, who writes that Adjani lives her parts, and plays with her guts. I agree with "nyc host" from France that: "this film is more to-the-point than the very flat and bland take of the last Palmes d'Or 'Entre les Murs' ". And probably with ghibliii from United Kingdom here: (Adjani) "looks way too luxurious and sophisticated for the social milieu"
Nevertheless, it's a very good film by actor and director Jean-Paul Lilienfeld. I'm looking forward to watching more films directed by him. My favourite scene is of course her monologue with red lighting, in the beginning of the film and then later, you'll understand why.
Enjoy and think about it!
PS: Not because it's obvious it's less true: Adjani is stunning in her classy white tailleur and boots with high heels. Angel's face, really. Life's unfair :).
I suspect every teacher has wondered if she/he be able to get the kids
attention by pointing a gun at them. Having spent some time teaching I
can really emphasize with Sonia Bergerac in this film. I loved the part
where she starts to actually teach the lesson on Moliere and uses the
gun to force an unruly student to cooperate. Of course real education
can't function like that, but its probably a fantasy of many teachers.
The film contains quite a bit of irony, and random chaos. I don't wish to give away too much of the story, other than to say taking the students hostage was accidental, and once she had started she was completely unable to figure out how to get out of the situation. The film has a very claustrophobic feel to it. They are trapped in a small little drama while outside larger dramas unfold including political issues, debates about how the crisis should be handed by the police, dispute between cultures, and sexual exploitation of some students. But Sonia and her class are locked within a small sound proof room.
Isabelle Adjani once again demonstrates that she is a extraordinary actress who is entirely convincing in her role. Vulnerable at times, and scary in the next moment.
The film has comic moments such as her demand for a national skirt day, but is largely dramatic and tragic in its tone. The film explores the clash of cultures, prejudice, and the real meaning of sexual liberation.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The moment the teacher kidnaps her students and then gets into a
hotchpotch of moral dilemmas which make her character ambivalent -
obviously she had good intentions but goes the wrong way to achieve
them, you would expect her to die in the end. It is disappointing to
see that you are not disappointed - yes she dies.
The whole film starts from a very strong and challenging premise - the difficult assimilation of the Muslim immigrants into the French society - and just builds towards the inexorable death of the heroine. It didn't grip me though, and I found the pace slow. In its quest for social exploration, it lost the elements of the thriller. And as a social drama, it had too much thriller recipe to allow for the proper exploration of any of the characters.
It also doesn't have a credible thread. In a high school where students shout at and threaten the teacher, carry revolvers and film the rape of their colleague, you would expect the soft looking, elegantly dressed woman to give up her high ideals at the first bullying or beating. She is not congruent with anything around her. Mouss, the other pupils, the minister representative - they are all half-baked characters, you only wonder why do they do what they actually do. The good-cop policeman is probably the worst construed - we understand vaguely he's got some family troubles in the background, but we can't really understand what drives him. With his superior not objecting to what is presumably a clear violation of procedure, he goes in for a heart-to-heart talk with the armed terrorist, he keeps protecting the teacher despite pressure from everyone around him etc. His motives get too little air time to be credible.
Yes, Adjani acts very solidly, the rest of the cast is on and off. But for a film to be enjoyable, it takes a lot more than that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not a bad movie, rather effective one, not too much predictable plot
and a very good performance from - an overweight - Isabelle Adjani.
She plays here a high school teacher who knows daily conflicts with her students, conflicts that bring her to madness. Social and racial problems are evoked here. She takes her whole class under hostage... Perhaps it could have been better made, with a little more carefulness, less clichés, and a bit more realism. But it's a good try. Adjani's character is heart gripping, convincing. You suffer for her. That makes this film pessimistic.
Not a great, but a good feature.
A high school teacher loses it and ends up holding hostages half her
class, turning the situation into a reflexive introspection on the
various crisis of modern youths.
Isabelle Adjani, very pretty in her white skirt and blazer, and rolled-up sleeve holding "caids" at gunpoint, is unpredictable and convincing - the rest of the cast, amateur or not, is very weak.
The subject (education and equality) is strong, very relevant and more to-the-point than the very flat and bland take of the last Palmes d'Or "Entre les Murs".
La Journée de la Jupe takes it to another level, more brutal, more real and less entertaining. Less humor and more critical analysis.
The two weakness of the movie are the very feeble and bad acting on almost all the characters. And the overuse of Issues. During the hour and half, the movie feels obliged to tackle every single issues possible: from gang rape to condoms, from Islam to immigration, from respect to racism ... Too much. I was almost waiting to hear about Finance or the Ozone layer ....
Interesting subject but awkward construction.
Mediocre at best. Important social issues but a in predictable plot,
cheesy and melodramatic, weak cast, poor directing, and, as a whole, a
really disappointing cinematic experience.
Once Isabelle Adjani might have been a star but here and now she is pathetic. Not only she is miscast -- looks way too luxurious and sophisticated for the social milieu and compared to the rest of the cast -- but, apparently, she had a lot of cosmetic work done and as a result her face now resemble an expressionless death mask. Not much of acting either. A parody of her former self.
Need I say more....
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