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Monsieur Lazhar [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 141 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, MONSIEUR LAZHAR tells the poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar (Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, offers the school his services as a substitute teacher and is quickly hired. As he helps the children heal, he also learns to accept his own painful past. This moving film features exquisite performances by Fellag and a stunning ensemble of child actors.

Review

"Enthralling. In a class with the Francois Truffaut of The 400 Blows." --The Wall Street Journal

"Four Stars" --New York Daily News

"Four Stars" --The Washington Post

"Four Stars" --New York Daily News

"Four Stars" --The Washington Post

Special Features

- From Stage to Screen
- Big Talk Interview with Phillippe Falardeau
- Alice and Simon audition tapes
- Bachir's story
- Alice's Report

Product Details

  • Actors: Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron, Seddik Benslimane
  • Directors: Philippe Falardeau
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Music Box Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0084O269M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,940 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
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. While set in Montreal, Quebec, the messages of the film are nor locality specific, and could happen anywhere. 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 Canadian writer/director joins Denis Villeneuve who directed "Incendies" in 2010 in gaining international recognition. Both their films were nominated for the Academy Award for best foreign-language film. [Friederike Knabe]
19 Comments 55 of 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
There is no shortage of good French language films about children and their teacher(s). Though this one is set in Montreal, it has many of the endearing qualities that French directors bring to their portrayal of the interaction between children and adults.

What makes this film excellent is its overall tone. It's touching, it's heartwarming and ultimately sad, but in an almost uplifting way. The acting - the children - is flawless.
And while the subject matter of death is at the core of the film, it is enveloped in a
feeling of awe and detachment at how the kids deal with it, and themselves, and a humanistic
portrayal of the teacher who has to take on the class following the suicide of their previous teacher. The teacher himself though has his own understated but real demons to cope with. But the heart of the film, including most of its scenes, take place in a classroom.

Technically, the film has a near perfect touch. Scenes end when "they should" instead of being drawn out for unneeded effect (and the ending included), histrionics are absent, and it flows like a calm stream with potentially turbulent undertones. It's a film ultimately about life, love, respect, hope and endurance.

It's a film you'll enjoy owning so that it can be viewed on multiple occasions. And being a foreign film, you can bet that most of your friends and family haven't seen it.
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Format: DVD
And I don't throw that word around. Everything about this film is exquisite: the story, cinematography, editing, pertinence, depth, character development, acting, soundtrack -- and the French (my second language) is pristine. I don't recall breathing while watching it in the theatre, but I must have. The popcorn went untouched. I can hardly wait for the DVD!
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Format: DVD
"Monsieur Lazhar" is a highly acclaimed Canadian French-language film set in contemporary Montréal, written and directed by Philippe Falardeau, adapted from Evelyne de la Cheneliere's original stage play. It is one of those gentle films that delivers a powerful punch, with everything beautifully understated throughout, with its events firmly rooted in reality. The acting is everywhere superb and delightfully natural, with some of the most powerful performances delivered by the children around whose lives the film really revolves. The theme of unexplained and seemingly meaningless death, the working out of grief and of guilt for the survivors is explored at many levels in subtle and sensitive ways and with no small amount of (appropriate) humour and pathos. The film also serves as something of a commentary on our times, and the paradoxically dehumanising consequences of overly rigid legislation driven by fear of litigation and in the name of human rights.

While by no means delivering very much by way of a feel good factor (and especially eschewing the altogether too obvious happy ending) the film nevertheless comes across as uplifting and enormously satisfying. Unreservedly recommended, especially as an antidote to the endless run of mindless action fodder.
Comment 9 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
A replacement teacher and his students help each other come to terms with tragedies in their lives. Compassionate, thoughtful, often very funny.

Recognizes that a modern classroom with its heavily regulated behavior can be an environment hostile to compassion and connection and addresses that both as a part of the inciting tragedy and as an obstacle to dealing with it.
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Monsieur Lazhar [Blu-ray]
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