movie film review | chris tookey

Class/ Entre Les Murs

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  Class/ Entre Les Murs Review
Tookey's Rating
5 /10
Average Rating
8.89 /10
Francois Francois Begaudeau, Wei Wei Huang
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Directed by: Laurent Cantet
Written by: Robin Campillo, Laurent Cantet , based on the book Entre Les Murs by Francois Begaudeau

Released: 2008
Genre: DRAMA
Origin: France
Colour: C
Length: 128

Under-dramatised classroom saga.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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The Class is a realistic, non-judgmental account of a French inner-city school, its students and teachers. It won the top prize at Cannes, mainly for being nothing like its more facile, heart-warming, Hollywood counterparts – such as Dangerous Minds, Mr Holland’s Opus and Freedom Writers.

However, those movies had a feeling of forward momentum and a through line, which The Class lacks.

Also, the leading character of Francois (played by real-life ex-teacher Francois Begaudeau, pictured) is underdeveloped. He’s just well-meaning and not terribly effective. I kept wishing he’d be a bit less politically correct, and challenge more of his students’ complacencies.

The film does capture the challenge and rewards of teaching, and skilfully avoids stereotyping the teenage characters, who come across as both endearing and maddening.

At its best, The Class has the authenticity of documentary. But even at its best, it lacks the structure and emotional rewards of drama.

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