Canada has produced some of Hollywood’s finest actors over the last half century. Canadian director Philippe Falardeau’s Oscar nominated film, Monsieur Lazhar, shows that we can produce high quality films as well.
After suffering a tragic loss at an elementary school in Montreal, Bachir Lazhar takes on the unwanted job of substitute teacher to a class dealing with uninvited grief.
It’s an absolute delight to review a film so original, thought provoking and well scripted after being bombarded with tired, unoriginal ideas for the past few months. Philippe Falardeau adapted Évelyne de la Chenelière’s one character play, Bashir Lazhar to perfection. As a writer and director, he was unafraid to look at real world issues and make valid social commentary on the state of the current education regulations.
On top of all the accolades from the production, you’ll find equal brilliance from the cast. Mohamed Fellag and Sophie Nélisse both deliver captivating performances, showcasing their ability to produce every ounce of emotional nuance demanded by their characters.
This DVD presents the film beautifully from both an audio and visual standpoint. Unfortunately, being a French film has limited the special features to only those who understand the language. When you consider the high quality of the movie, it’s tragic that only French speaking audiences will be able to dive deeper into the making of it.
Bottom Line: Even with the lack of special features, this movie is still well worth owning on DVD just for the incredible viewing experience of the film itself.
Movie Grade A
Blu Ray Grade B
Runtime: 95 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1