Following the sudden and traumatic death of a teacher, middle-aged Algerian immigrant, Bachir Lazhar, is hired to work as a supply teacher in a Quebec school. Monsieur Lazhar’s firm yet sympathetic manner of working with the young children affords the class of troubled kids the opportunity to come to terms with their loss. Monsieur Lazhar is himself suffering tragedy and personal loss, and this Oscar-nominated film, from the producers of Incendies, presents his story with emotion, deftly avoiding over sentimentality. Monsieur Lazhar will be a success with audiences who enjoyed the 2002 French hit Etre et avoir.
Play it Again Staff Recommendation
Monsieur Lazhar is a man nursing deep hurt, who steps in as a replacement teacher in a Canadian school after his predecessor unexpectedly commits suicide. This new film from Philippe Falardeau is an impressive achievement. Beautifully acted by Mohamed Fellag in the title role, and supported by an incredibly strong young cast, the actors are never anything less than convincing and convey beautifully the emotional complexities of their characters. A good-hearted, sincere drama that delves surprisingly deep into the sorrow and guilt of its characters and still manages to be life-affirming. To make a film like this, and to do it well, takes a lot of skill, and I am happy to say that in this respect, Monsieur Lazhar is a considerable success. >>read more
James Martin, Cornerhouse LiveWire Young Film Critic