Monsieur Lazhar (2012)
Critic Consensus: Monsieur Lahzar is a tender and thoughtful portrait of a man with hidden grief and also a compelling exploration of the teacher-student dynamic.
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as Bachir Lazhar
as Mrs. Vaillancourt
as Mrs. Dumas
as Me Gilbert Danis
as Marie-Frédérique's Father
as Alice's Mother
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Critic Reviews for Monsieur Lazhar
Although it raises timeless questions about life and loss, and timely ones about mentorship and multiculturalism, "Monsieur Lazhar" would rather teach than preach.
A gentle film can still be searing in its effect on an audience, something that "Monsieur Lazhar" proves emphatically.
With a few folds, this story could have made a script for John Barrymore, like Topaze, or for Chaplin.
You could almost describe 'Monsieur Lazhar' as a morality tale, but it's more thought-provoking than debate-provoking.
A sad, reflective study of the possibilities, and the impossibilities, inherent in the teacher-student relationship.
Audience Reviews for Monsieur Lazhar
Even if the performances are not that strong, this is a delicate drama that could have been easily made into a maudlin melodrama in the wrong hands but instead goes for a realistic approach that renders it much more involving, touching and sincere than most films of the kind.
A refugee from Algeria goes to Montreal and takes over for a teacher who killed herself. A gentle film with an edge, Monsieur Lazhar features strong performances by Mohamed Fellag and his young class. There are many scenes that seem aimless until they're considered in the scope of the larger story. As a whole, the film is part of the teacher-as-hero genre, and while its anti-intellectualism is confined to the premise that a man with no training can succeed, Monsieur Lazhar is a nurturing love educator, thrown into an emotionally charged classroom with grief-demons of his own. Its thesis -- that there are times when educators are called on to be caring parental figures -- is ludicrous in reality, but I found it effective because of Fellag's soulful performance. I think the conflict is never fully resolved, which is a common complaint I have with French-language films. I think Lazhar should have had to expose his damage; these kids' emotional lives are on display for Lazhar, and it seemed logical that Lazhar would have to do likewise. The fable bit was an attempt, but the writing on this fable didn't go far enough. Overall, this is a strong film in a problematic genre.
Nice enough movie, just really slow. Definitely the kind that critics like....
Monsieur Lazhar Quotes
|Bachir Lazhar:||The dead stay in our heads because we loved them.|
|Mrs. Dumas:||These are Rice Krispies squares|
|Mrs. Dumas:||These are Rice Krispies squares.|
|Gaston:||They're like baklavas ... But Québec-style|
|Gaston:||They're like baklavas but QuÃ©bec-style.|
|Alice:||Everyone thinks we're traumatized. It's the adults who are.|
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