Aroview: This stimulating Palm d’Or winner engages with the toil and trouble of a multi-ethnic, inner-city French classroom, and the headstrong teacher determined to gain its attention and respect.
Talky without drifting into speechifying or high school histrionics, Cantet’s film serves up challenging mind food that’s universally-reaching on the surface, although perhaps capable of deeper meaning for those intimate with the social context in which it is set (namely, the racial cross-section Paris now represents). Despite its underwhelming emotional pull and tedious power struggles between student and adult, this is a commendable observation of tempestuous, modern youth through the eyes of progressive-thinking filmmakers (Bégaudeau, also in the role of Mr Marin, adapted the screenplay from his own semi-autobiographical novel).
4 stars (Very Good) An original approach to the topic as the characters are performed by real people as opposed to professional actors. Dense and intense, with a lot of attention to details as opposed to a plot. Need to be seen on a peaceful day.~Menno