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A Closer Look at This Year’s Sundance-Supported Oscar Nominees: ‘Monsieur Lazhar’

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Mohamed Fellag in Monsieur Lazhar.

Nate von Zumwalt

Leading up to the 84th edition of the Academy Awards this Sunday, February 26, we’re profiling all seven of this year’s Sundance-supported Oscar nominees. Click here for the full list of nominees.


Monsieur Lazhar, directed by Philippe Falardeau (Canada)

After an elementary school teacher in Montreal commits suicide, Algerian immigrant Bachir Lazhar becomes the unlikely replacement responsible for curtailing the heartbreak. Mohamed Fellag delivers a performance infused with personal strength and compassion, as his character—silently grief-stricken himself—leads a class of anguished students on a journey toward resilience. Monsieur Lazhar is a beautiful story of one man’s amazing capacity to mask personal tragedy as he endeavors to help his students.

  • Monsieur Lazhar is Falardeau’s fourth feature-length film and Canada’s 2012 Oscar submission
  • Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards
  • Based on the play Bashir Lazhar by Évelyne de la Chenelière
  • Premiered at the 2011 Locarno Film Festival
  • Screened in the Spotlight category of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival

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