Monsieur Lazhar

Monsieur Lazhar

A film by Philippe Falardeau

Movie review

In this adaptation of Évelyne de la Chenelière’s play, Philippe Falardeau depicts how a group of sixth-graders try to cope with the self-inflicted death of their teacher through the help of her replacement, Bashir Lazhar, a fundamentally decent, wise and caring Algerian refugee who has some grief of his own to deal with. There is much to love in this film: the confident storytelling, which lets the characters breathe without forcing them into a conventional plot structure; the elegant cinematography by Ronald Plante, editing by Stéphane Lafleur and music by Martin Léon; Fellag’s immensely engaging lead performance and, perhaps more than anything, the exceptionally natural and touching performances by Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron and the other child actors.

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Monsieur Lazhar