Lisa Schwarzbaum
April 13, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Monsieur Lazhar

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
94 minutes
Limited Release Date
04/13/12
distributor
Music Box Films
genre
Comedy, PG-13

We gave it a B+

An Algerian immigrant (comic Fellag, in a subtle, serious performance) takes over as substitute in a Montreal classroom of traumatized kids after the on-site suicide of their teacher. And Monsieur has got troubles of his own. A 2012 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, adapted by writer-director Philippe Falardeau from a one-man play, Monsieur Lazhar suffers at times from handling too many sadnesses at once. But the movie’s tonic lack of sentimentality binds the various griefs together into something moving. B+

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