Amazon Holiday

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Class (Entre les Murs)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Based on a book that's based on a true story, this movie about a French teacher (François Begaudeau) who  struggles to get through to his upstart students, in an underprivileged upper school in Paris, is entirely improvised.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: François Begaudeau (writer of the book, teacher of French, and now bona fide movie star), Franck Keita, Rachel Regulier, Wey Huang, Boubacar Tour, Carl Nanor, Louise Grinberg, Esmeralda Ouertani,

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketProceed with Caution. The film holds your attention over the course of the school year, even though it is more like a string of interesting moments than an over-arching story. The banter and impromptu dialogue between the teacher and the students is witty and engrossing, as we watch these kids try to bully their teacher into losing complete control of the situation.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: If you speak French you will laugh a little. If you don't, you will laugh a little less. What I'm trying to tell you is the subtitles are terrible. Some of the most hack-job translation I've ever seen.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you've ever been a kid who's been accused of being bad, when you know in your heart that you're good, or if you've ever been a teacher who's been accused of trying to make a difference, when you know in your heart that it's not possible.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: It was nominated today for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film (France). Allons enfants de la patrie le jour de gloire est arrivé! (Sorry, I'm just getting a little patriotic on my French side-- Hi, Mom!)

Q: How is the Acting?

A: The teacher, François Begaudeau, who plays himself, and the students, who are also non-actors, are unreasonably comfortable and natural in front of the camera.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Between the hand held camera and the shakiness of the teacher's hold on his students, you will definitely feel the squirm factor, as you worry that at any moment, he could go too far and misspeak, with that fast talking mouth of his, or his students could waft him a verbal blow so severe that he might never recover.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: As I watched it, I kept thinking the story would build to something. When it didn't, I left the theater feeling cold. But as the days have gone by, since I left the theater, I've found myself thinking about it more and more, and bringing it up with passion in conversations. So if you're planning to see me anytime soon, be warned.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


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