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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and touching
How is a class of eleven/twelve-year olds to cope with a tragedy that suddenly and out of the blue takes away their teacher? How do parents and teachers react to the trauma the children are experiencing? The school principal is under pressure to keep things "normal", none of the other teachers can take on the class, one school councillor is designated for the class of...
Published on March 8 2012 by Friederike Knabe

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars sub title issue
Two problems with this Canadian issue of the film. The large yellow sub titles (compared with the USA issue of the film) are obtrusive. (see blu beaver for the difference) Also the extras on the Canadian disc do not seem to have English subs
Published 12 months ago by filmraconteur


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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle and touching, March 8 2012
By 
Friederike Knabe "Books are funny little port... (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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How is a class of eleven/twelve-year olds to cope with a tragedy that suddenly and out of the blue takes away their teacher? How do parents and teachers react to the trauma the children are experiencing? The school principal is under pressure to keep things "normal", none of the other teachers can take on the class, one school councillor is designated for the class of twenty plus young minds ' a crisis of great proportion' Into this challenging scenario walks Bashir Lazhar and offers himself as the ideal replacement teacher. With great subtlety and compassion does the film, Monsieur Lazhar, explore the evolving relationships between teacher and students, among various teachers and last but not least, between Bashir Lazhar at the school and his personal struggles beyond. The story touches on the different ways of dealing with loss and guilt, with honesty, lies and pretense, with prejudice and expediency. And finally, how the coping mechanisms of adults cannot easily be transferred to those of children living through a crisis. The story concentrates on two of the children, Simon and Alice, their growing hostility and Bashir's strict yet sensitive methods in dealing with the emotional struggles that the children go through.

Mohamed Fellag's acting in the role of Monsieur Lazhar is excellent, his interpretation of his character utterly convincing in his unassuming and often understated acting. The child actors, especially the two interpreting Simon and Alice, come across as natural and genuine. Philippe Falardeau, the film's writer/director came to international attention last year with his film "Incendies" that, like Monsieur Lazhar this year, was nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign-language film. [Friederike Knabe]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching and amazing performances, May 30 2012
By 
Youri (Scottsdale, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
I am a French teacher and just saw this movie. I did not know that it would be such a moving, emotional journey and one that will reward any viewer. The young children are faced with a tragedy, and are torn between their emotions and their need to express what they feel as well as their hesitation to do so creates a tension that slowly builds up throughout the movie. The performances of Mohamed Fellag (Monsieur Lazhar) and especially that of Alice (the teacher's pet in many respects but who does so in a charming way), played by Sophie Nélisse, stand out. Very touching, sweet movie that is well worth watching.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars L.actualité qui fait réfléchir., June 10 2012
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Monsieur Lazhar nous rappelle notre déficit de compétences au Québec, notre résistance à accueillir les immigrants compétents et notre capacité de reconnaître ces compétences lorsquue les immigrants persistent à faire la démonstration de leurs capacités.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching and understated, March 28 2013
A wonderfully understated window on a human tragedy. Coming from London, it was very instructive to see the life of a school in Montreal and perhaps some of the more closed mentalities the Director exposes. Never sentimental but somehow eminently believable the acting by the children especially is a tour de force. Loved the multicultural classroom and the witty quips from both teachers and pupils. My favourite was Boris!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-see Movie, Feb. 16 2013
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Brilliant and moving from start to finish. Wonderfully realistic acting by everyone concerned. Do not miss it - if you cannot see it in a movie theatre, rent it, and you'll probably finish up buying it, it's that good.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, Canadian, French, School Drama, Sept. 28 2012
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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The basis of this film is quite simple; a Montreal school teacher hangs herself in the classroom where she teaches her young charges. One of the boys Simon, discovers the body and raises the alarm. With the ensuing scandal it becomes nigh on impossible to get a replacement teacher and the kids are clearly traumatised by the whole experience.

Enter Monsieur Lazhar (Mohammed Fellag) he is from Algeria where he claims he was a teacher and he would like to step in and help. So faced with a decision of no teacher or a very keen one indeed, he gets the gig. The thing is that he is a man with a past and a tragic one too. Algeria has suffered years of terror and he and his family are one of its victims. He is also an asylum seeker and could face deportation at any time as his case is pending. This side of his life he keeps from everybody. He throws himself into connecting with the children and in doing so manages to unravel the truth of the past and the hostilities that the children have been harbouring amongst themselves.

This was an utterly absorbing film with performances from all involved that were brilliant. Emilien Neron who plays Simon is excellent but the real star is Mohammed Fellag who brings a warmth and humanity that is as touching as it is revealing about the human condition and possibly cultural attitudes.

This was taken from the play by Evelyne de la Cheneliere but has transferred to the screen with no hitches, there is a bit of love interest, no bedroom naughtiness and no real action. Yet this just shines through as a testament to great film making. In French with sub titles and a whole bucket of heart felt emotion – excellent.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How are we helping our children?, July 4 2012
By 
Eugene Spanier "butthebreathofafirefly" (Etobicoke, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
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A movie about growing up, fitting in, listening, thinking and acting deliberately and consciously, Algerian immigrant Mr. Lazhar has come to offer himself as a candidate for the job of a teacher who has recently and sadly ended her career in a Montreal elementary school. He is a teacher who has enough experience and confidence to give children what he believes they need in order to be students and move forward with their lives despite the tragedy they have experienced.

Mr. lazhar is full of dialogue which gives a broad range of perspectives, particularly from the children. It's natural, optimistic despite its context, peppered with humour, melancholy, self-doubt, suspense and risk-taking.

Apart from being an insight into schools and the lives of the adults and children, it asks useful questions about teaching and schooling. It would provide a excellent springboard for discussions regarding what we do in the name of "education" and what we want for our children, and our society.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful gentle film., Jan. 9 2014
M. Lazahr is a profoundly moving film. It speaks so strongly, yet quietly and gently. It is also very much a window on downtown urban Quebec - east-end Montreal - that is almost never seen on film outside of Quebec. Such a beautiful film.
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1.0 out of 5 stars faulty dvd, Dec 19 2013
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This review is from: Monsieur Lazhar (DVD)
The dvd was faulty. I was only able to watch part of it and then it stopped working.
Very disappointed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Du bon cinéma, Sept. 28 2013
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Anne-marie De Vos "A.-M. De Vos" (Colombie-britannique, canada) - See all my reviews
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Mon mari et moi avons visionné ce film ensemble et étions tous deux d'accord que c'est un bon film, mais pas un classique. Les acteurs jouent assez bien, les scènes sont réelles et bien tournées mais le film manque d'un je-ne-sais-quoi pour qu'il soit excellent et qu'il vienne chercher le spectateur à 100%. . Il y a des moments où l'on se rend bien compte que l'on voit un film.

Par contre en comparIaison avec le cinéma américain, ce film québecois vaut la peine d'être vu. Il est intéressant de par son sujet hors de l'ordinaire: le suicide d'une enseignante dans une école! Donc je le recommande.
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Monsieur Lazhar [Blu-ray] (Version française)
Monsieur Lazhar [Blu-ray] (Version française) by Philippe Falardeau (Blu-ray - 2012)
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