100-Word Review: “Monsieur Lazhar”

I caught the play at the Edinburgh Fringe, but was pleasantly surprised by this newly Oscar-nominated film adaptation. As the Algerian teacher trying to overcome a tragic arrival to Canada, Mohammed Fellag offers a strong centre – but the real meat is the students’ expanded film role. Still shell-shocked from the suicide of their previous teacher, the film grows  to incorporate their grief, guilt, and individual narrative threads. The weight of everything is felt without succumbing to melodrama or archetypes, while Émilien Néron’s stunning performance as a boy who blames himself delicately exposes the complexities of suicide and childhood.

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About alfla

Playwright, screenwriter, sometime improv enthusiast and full-time television lover. You know, in THAT way.
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