The Class

2008 [FRENCH]

Action / Drama

Plot summary

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1.16 GB
French 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 9 min
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2.39 GB
French 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 9 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by claudio_carvalho7 / 10

To Sir, without Love

During the school year in a public school in the periphery of Paris, the teacher and member of the disciplinary committee François Marin (François Bégaudeau) gives French lessons to a heterogeneous group of racially mixed students between thirteen and fifteen years old. There are good students, but there also others without discipline and interest in the classes. During a meeting with the evaluation committee formed by the school teachers, the student representatives Esmeralda (Esmeralda Ouertani) and Louise (Louise Grinberg) grin all the time without any participation in the discussion; however, on the next morning, they gossip to their schoolmates the subjects of the meeting. The Malian bad student Souleymane (Franck Keïta) offends François and accidentally hits the student Khoumba (Rachel Regulier) with his bag, hurting her face. François reports the incident to the principal and Souleymane has to face the fearing the disciplinary committee.

"Entre les Murs" is another good movie that exposes the relationship of teachers and their students in a public school, this time in the boundary of Paris. This theme is engaging and has produced many good movies, highlighting the classic "To Sir, with Love", "Class of 1984" and "Dangerous Minds". However, "Entre les Murs" succeeds in the pretension of exposing a sample of modern France, for example with poor immigrants from the former French colonies whose families can not even speak French language or students without any perspective in adult life. The result is a tense and crude low-budget theatrical movie, supported by magnificent performances and with an ending without any redemption or hope. My vote is seven.

Note: "Mali is a country of western Africa. The site of several powerful states, including the Mali (flourished 14th century) and the Songhai (flourished 15th-16th centuries),Mali became part of French West Africa in the 19th century and achieved independence in 1960. Bamako is the capital and the largest city".

Title (Brazil): "Entre os Muros da Escola" ("Within the Walls of the School")

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird9 / 10

Enter the class

Am very fond of foreign language cinema, my knowledge and exposure of which continuing to broaden all the time with the more seen of it. Likewise with French as a language, an accessible language (it and German were always the easiest to get my head round when studying them, while singing in Italian a lot),full of poetry, and wonderful and very rewarding to sing in.

'The Class' gets my vote as Laurent Cantet's best film, and there is good reason as to why it has the distinction of being the first French film to win the Palme D'Or since 1987. Was worried as to how the film would make the subject of school from a teacher's view-point spread over a year entertaining, but 'The Class' does that. Based upon the book of lead actor and real life teacher Francois Begaudeau, it may not have the bravest or riskiest subject matter of Cantet's films, not that that is a problem, but it is the film of his that explores the subject in question with the most depth and insight and it far from feels safe or underdeveloped.

It does occasionally feel a little talky.

And the pace occasionally meanders around the middle.

However, there is a huge amount to like about 'The Class'. Really liked the intimacy of the photography that doesn't look cheap or make the confined location stagy or claustrophobic. The music is not as atmosphere enhancing as that for 'Time Out' for example, but fits well, appeals in sound and the placement is never questionable. Cantet directs with remarkable skill and efficiency once again, clearly engaging with the material and balancing it surprisingly well. Begaudeau is an immensely engaging lead and the children come over as very natural.

When it comes to the writing, 'The Class' is one of the best written Cantet films. It is sharp, insightful and thought-provoking, with sly observations and genuine poignancy without descending into schmaltz. The story doesn't become repetitive and is on the most part absorbing, carried by the chemistry between the varied and sharply drawn characters and the entertaining antics of the pupils. Chemistry that is rich in tension but also remarkable subtlety, showing that the relationship between teachers and pupils are quite complex.

In conclusion, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox

Reviewed by MartinHafer6 / 10

I am really not sure what the point was of this film....

François Bégaudeau plays the lead--a teacher who is in charge of a class of intercity kids. Some seem to want to learn, but the class discipline is so lacking that you wonder how any of them can learn--and, as you watch, this is probably true.

"The Class" was an interesting film but also quite a frustrating one for me to watch, as I never was sure of the exact purpose of the film. I am a retired teacher, so hold on tight.... While I found myself interested in what was happening in the class, I also felt that this was a case of a teacher with good intentions who was, at times, absolutely clueless. And, sadly, he seemed to be one of the only teachers in the school who cared about the kids. Talk about a recipe for hopelessness and failure. It was interesting that the same failed methods and discipline were going on here in "The Class" as I sometimes saw in the States--and some burnt out or well-meaning but poorly trained teachers. I saw the film as a GREAT movie to show teachers so that they could see where the school in the film was failing the kids and learn from their mistakes.

A few of the lousy techniques I noticed from the teacher in this one: Letting his class continually disrupt the lessons on irrelevant things. Instead of ignoring or redirecting, he let them disrupt and chaos often resulted.

Letting disruptive groups of kids sit together.

Engaging in arguments.

A few I noticed from the rest of the staff included: One old-timer teacher telling a new teacher which kids were GOOD and which were BAD--setting the kids up to meet these expectations.

A very punitive system. One teacher even argued that positive reinforcement ONLY should come in the distant future--when kids look back at their achievements. Punishment was all that seemed to matter and it's no wonder the kids were misbehaving.

Allowing student reps to sit in on disciplinary meetings and hear confidential information about other students. As you could see in the film, this was a very, very, very bad idea.

Providing no interpreter for the Malian parent. While she said she understood what was occurring, it seemed pretty obvious she didn't.

By the way, I did NOT understand the ending. It seemed magical--as if removing the one very disruptive kid suddenly made the other disruptive kids become angels. This seemed very simplistic. In fact, I really didn't understand the purpose of the film--unless it was to say pretty much all the teachers in the film were missing the mark. All in all, a pretty hopeless look at teaching but the film was interesting, that's for sure.

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