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Past Films

Monsieur Lazhar

  • Director: Philippe Falardeau
  • Genre(s): Drama, Comedy
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Language: French (subtitled)
  • Running Time: 94 min

Monsieur Lazhar tells the story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher. Bachir Lazhar, 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. (Music Box Films)

"Monsieur Lazhar resembles a clear, clean glass of water: transparent, utterly devoid of gratuitous flavorings or frou-frou, and all the more bracing and essential for it. "
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"It's an exquisite, humanistic and subtly topical work of cinema art that manages to keep the intimate, revelatory sensibility of a one-man play intact while fleshing out the characters and creating a very realistic and richly detailed school community. "
- Jennie Punter, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"Fellag, a comedian and himself an exile from Algeria, makes Lazhar both a sensitive and an amusing figure. And the kids are just terrific, especially Emilien Neron as a boy who carries the guilt of the whole school on his shoulders. "
- Bob Mondello, NPR
"What makes the film enthralling is the wisdom and grace with which it addresses the twin subjects of grief and healing, and the quiet beauty of Mohamed Fellag's performance in the title role. "
- Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Monsieur Lazhar becomes a deeply affecting film not for pathos but for the way sadness is conveyed so subtly. It's a small triumph of restrained compassion, coaxing throat lumps rather than jerking tears. "
- Steve Persall, Tampa Bay Times

Showtimes