7.5/10
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51 user 173 critic

Monsieur Lazhar (2011)

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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.

Director:

Philippe Falardeau

Writers:

Philippe Falardeau (screenplay), Evelyne de la Chenelière (play)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mohamed Fellag ... Bachir Lazhar (as Fellag)
Sophie Nélisse ... Alice L'Écuyer
Émilien Néron ... Simon
Marie-Ève Beauregard Marie-Ève Beauregard ... Marie-Frédérique
Vincent Millard Vincent Millard ... Victor
Seddik Benslimane ... Abdelmalek
Louis-David Leblanc Louis-David Leblanc ... Boris
Gabriel Verdier ... Jordan
Marianne Soucy-Lord Marianne Soucy-Lord ... Shanel
Danielle Proulx ... Mme Vaillancourt
Brigitte Poupart Brigitte Poupart ... Claire
Jules Philip Jules Philip ... Gaston
Louis Champagne ... Concierge
Daniel Gadouas ... Me Gilbert Danis
Francine Ruel ... Mme Dumas
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Canada

Language:

French | English | Arabic

Release Date:

7 March 2012 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

Profesor Lazhar See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,190, 15 April 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,009,517

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,074,711
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

micro_scope See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the stage play Bashir Lazhar by Evelyne de la Chenelière. The playwright appears in the movie as Alice's mother. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 84th Annual Academy Awards (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Sonata in F-minor
By Domenico Scarlatti (as Scarlatti)
Performed by Jean-Pascal Hamelin
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User Reviews

 
A perfect movie about loss and hope
6 April 2012 | by richard-1967See 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!


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