Friday, February 20, 2009

Review: The Class (2008)

This film is a BIG DEAL. It won the Palm D'Or at Cannes. That means it's a big deal. It's also been nominated for an Academy Award. So, yeah, it's a big deal.

But, I don't really see it. The Class is essentially a documentary, based on one man's (François Bégaudeau, who also wrote it and starred in) experiences as a teacher of troubles students in a French suburb. It starts out strong. It's candide and very real. We see his interactions with his fellow instructors, and his students. But, the scenes drag on for way too long, and there's nothing of real substance happening. The film is too long at 2:08, as I couldn't help but notice when I systematically checked my watch every 10 minutes.

Yes, it's very natural and real. Yes, it IS watchable and at times, enjoyable. It's not a typical inspirational-teacher-enlightens-troubled-students film, as nearly none of the students have made any sort of progress by the end of the year. But, I've been there, I've seen that. I went to public school. I had to live with this stuff everyday. Still, the film is well made and the acting is very good. But, it won't win the Oscar.

Recommended? If you must...

Grade: B-

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