To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

To Be and to Have (Etre et Avoir) Reviews

August 7, 2004
It demonstrates without overreaching what an actual teacher can do to shape lives.
January 30, 2004
A counterintuitive film about a small schoolhouse in rural France, To Be and to Have gets its punch from simple scenes and conversations.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 23, 2004
To Be and to Have is a movie every teacher should see, and every parent, too.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
January 23, 2004
At times, it feels as stultifying as watching paint dry, without the recompense of sniffing fumes.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 21, 2003
Watchful viewers -- particularly those with fond memories of a favorite teacher -- will be deeply moved by this film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 21, 2003
Amounts to a rare gift and an opportunity to appreciate the end of an era.
November 21, 2003
Deep, honest and unforced.
November 20, 2003
A deceptively simple French film about teaching that keeps enlarging as you watch it, becoming beautiful and inspiring in a way most films never touch.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 23, 2003
An unhurried model of nonfiction filmmaking and a vision of life at its most persuasively humanistic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 23, 2003
To Be and To Have works in the grandest tradition of documentary filmmaking -- it keeps company with a small, specific place going about its business, and from it parses the whole world.
October 16, 2003
Beautiful documentary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
October 9, 2003
Contains some of the most stirring footage I have ever seen on the act and art of teaching children.
September 28, 2003
This heart-wrenching documentary about a French village schoolteacher at work offers the comedy and pathos of great drama and the visual magnificence of painting.
September 25, 2003
Exhibiting the same sort of patience as his sensible hero, Philibert has created an extraordinarily humane portrait of a partnership between one adult and his very fortunate charges.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 24, 2003
So superb, so graceful, so strong -- another beauty in this year of good documentaries -- that I do believe it will influence career choices, sending inspired viewers to study pedagogy, or cinematography.
Full Review | Original Score: A
September 19, 2003
To Be and to Have feels like a deep, sweet pull of spring water.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
September 19, 2003
One of the year's most engaging films.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 19, 2003
The film is as tiny as an Altoid and as curiously strong.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
September 16, 2003
The magical dynamic we witness, of recitations and math problems and disciplinary chats and vocabulary drills, all of it performed with exacting sympathy and focus, is genuine to the touch.
January 31, 2003
In a way, the film feels like a breath of fresh air, but only to those that allow it in.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 18, 2003
At once a testament to the divine calling of education and a demonstration of the painstaking process of imparting knowledge.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 17, 2003
A film that is a portrait of grace in an imperfect world.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 24, 2002
As quiet, patient and tenacious as Mr. Lopez himself, who approaches his difficult, endless work with remarkable serenity and discipline.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5