Film Review: "Monsieur Lazhar" is a lesson in healing

"Monsieur Lazhar," is the fourth film by Canadian writer and director, Philippe Falardeau. It is based on a stage play written by Evelyne de la Cheneliere. The story takes place during a snowy winter in a public school in Montreal, Quebec where a class of sixth graders are coming to terms with their own grief from the unexpected loss of a much loved teacher. They find solace in an unsuspecting candidate who believes he has arrived "at the right place at the right time" only to discover that the task at hand is intricately more complex than he anticipated forcing him to address dark issues of his own.

Eloquent and beautifully acted, this is an understated film with incredibly powerful performances. In particular, are the portrayals by the young actors who play the repressed students attempting to juggle the uncomfortable emotionally driven adult themes they are dealt. Rich in authenticity, it's an crucial observation of how ineffective talking at students is instead of talking with them during crucial moments in life.


Our spectacular host, Stefanie Alleyne, joins today's panelists, Erin Parks, a digital media professional; Patrice Francois, a screenwriter and actress; and Carmen Lee Shue, a veteran real estate agent; at "Inwood Local," a splendid wine bar and beer garden, to review and discuss this Canadian indie favorite and an 2012 Oscar nominated film for Best Foreign Film. Learn more about today's panelist