Monsieur Lazhar

Sunday, September 25 th, 2016 at 00:09 am 

Monsieur Lazhar

JOY REVIEW

Monsieur Lazhar is the French nominee for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, and it takes a while to get going.  The story is two kids are playing on a playground and one of them finally remembers it’s his turn to deliver milk and discovers that his teacher has hung herself in the classroom.  What unfolds slowly and carefully, but very poignantly and very honestly, is how kids respond to adult trauma that goes on over their head.  Monsieur Lazhar, who is their teacher, isn’t the touchy feely kind of teacher, and is slowly recovering from some of his own kind of scarring.  This is really a wonderful movie that has a great deal of heart and soul and wisdom in it, and is compelling as well.  You’re going to have to give it a little bit of patience as it unfolds slowly, but it really does blossom in a terrific way.  It is, apparently, an adaptation of a play.   The man who plays Lazhar is best known as a stand-up comedian, whose name is Mohamed Fellag, and he’s an Algerian immigrant.  This is an absolutely worthwhile movie to see.  I know it’s subtitled, but go see it anyway.  Four stars.

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