Friday, November 11, 2011

Entre les murs

The Class (2008)

Directed by Laurent Cantet

Written by Laurent Cantet, Robin Campillo and François Bégaudeau
Based on the novel by  François Bégaudeau

Stars: François Bégaudeau, Esmeralda Ouertani, Rachel Regulier and Franck Keïta.

The Class was one of the front runners to win the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language when it was beaten by Japan's entry, Departures. I heard nothing, but great things about this movie.

A movie podcast that listened to, Cinebanter, did show on this movie where they thought that the movie felt false to them since they were working in the school system as well. I have to agree with their sentiments.

The author of the book, François Bégaudeau plays François Marin, a idealistic French teacher that tries to inspire a group of immigrant students in a trouble school, Dolto High.

Going into this movie I had some high expectations with it that I would be inspired or feel some response to what I was seeing on screen, but I didn't. The movie is shot in a documentary style that some people find refreshing. I find that annoying.

Being that Bégaudeau was the author of the book and was cast as essentially himself, he was play it straight. Playing it straight doesn't make a compelling movie for the audience to see. It felt mundane and formulaic. We have seen those movies where the teacher inspire the students to greatness.

I wish I knew what the point of the movie truly is, because you don't know that much about the teacher or the  melting pot of students that is in Marin's class. You don't connect with them on any level.

The movie was empty, but there was a few moments that I could drawn into the story when the clash between teacher and students become apparent. That was it.

My Rating:


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