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Monsieur Lazhar (2011)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 7 March 2012 (Belgium)
2:09 | Trailer

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At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.



(screenplay), (play)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bachir Lazhar (as Fellag)
Alice L'Écuyer
Marie-Ève Beauregard ...
Vincent Millard ...
Seddik Benslimane ...
Louis-David Leblanc ...
Gabriel Verdier ...
Marianne Soucy-Lord ...
Mme Vaillancourt
Brigitte Poupart ...
Jules Philip ...
Louis Champagne ...
Daniel Gadouas ...
Me Gilbert Danis
Francine Ruel ...
Mme Dumas


Bachir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant, is hired to replace an elementary school teacher who died tragically. While the class goes through a long healing process, nobody in the school is aware of Bachir's painful former life; nor that he is at risk of being deported at any moment. Adapted from Evelyne de la Cheneliere's play, Bachir Lazhar depicts the encounter between two distant worlds and the power of self-expression. Using great sensitivity and humor, Philippe Falardeau follows a humble man who is ready to transcend his own loss in order to accompany children beyond the silence and taboo of death. Written by micro_scope

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, a disturbing image and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 March 2012 (Belgium)  »

Also Known As:

Profesor Lazhar  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$112,190 (USA) (13 April 2012)


$2,009,041 (USA) (5 October 2012)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Canada's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. See more »


Referenced in Taxi Tehran (2015) See more »


Piano Sonata No.11 in A-major
(as Opus K331)
By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as Mozart)
Performed by Jean-Pascal Hamelin
See more »

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User Reviews

A perfect movie about loss and hope
6 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What happens when a class of 6th graders loses their beloved teacher to suicide? What happens when an Algerian immigrant applies to be their new teacher in a culture he is just beginning to understand? What is behind the teacher's stillness, his smile and his sad eyes? This film is a beautiful rendering of a stage play about love and loss, but also about hope. In this wonderfully-told story, the hope isn't trite, contrived or artificial. It's something you almost have to feel. It comes from the growing relationship between this strange teacher in a strange land, and his student children, so in need of his help.

The movie's cast is rich with great acting, by the kids of course, but here, if anything, they're outshone by Algerian actor Mohamed Fellag, whose face tells 1000 stories about where he has been and, perhaps, where he hopes to go.

The only things not perfect are the characters, for this writer and director have been too careful to give them - even the "best" of the children - no flaws. They are all more good than bad, but also complex in their own way, suffering the loss of one teacher and the growing pains of learning to learn from another.

This film gets my vote for Best Foreign Language Film, even over the excellent A Separation. Don't miss it!

37 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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