A teacher (François Bégaudeau) begins a new school year with a class full of unruly students from a tough Parisian neighborhood.
" A sparkling, clever work whose ensemble cast impresses, surprises, wrongfoots and disappoints you in exactly the same fashion a class might its teacher. "
" But ultimately it's a fascinating, sometimes exhilarating movie that seems to make a genuine contact with the classroom, and shows us an educational system struggling, and managing, to survive. "
" By rough estimate, maybe 80 percent of the movie consists of these student-teacher slanging matches, but it's engrossing. "
" Cantet has created a deceptively simple film that gradually deconstructs a Hollywood genre. "
" Laurent Cantet's drama The Class brings us back to earth, unalloyed. "
" Most impressive, Cantet tracks the racial and ethnic resentments that simmer beneath the classroom discussions but become harder to quell when the parents get involved. "
" Never feels scripted, even with so much talking. "
" Powerful, mesmerizing and full of moments that linger long after the bell rings. "
" The Class is not just the best film released thus far this year. It may be the most gripping. "
" The Class isn't a documentary, but the scenes have the loose, slow-cooked feel of a director turning on a camera and waiting to see what happens -- think Mike Leigh meets Frederick Wiseman. "
" The Class skillfully straddles an intriguing line between reality and fiction. "
" The Class, an Oscar-nominated French film about a Paris middle school, should be required viewing for anybody considering a career in teaching. "
" The effect of this sobering, funny and, finally, enlightening, portrait is one of enormous sympathy for all parties in the education tango. "
" The fact that it's based on a book written by a former teacher who also stars in the film gives it more than a bit of authenticity "
" The movie is bursting with life, energy, fears, frustrations and the quick laughter of a classroom hungry for relief. "
" These kids aren't always all right. But they are consistently riveting. "
" This is one of the screen's most rewarding explorations of the teacher/student relationship in any language. Every voice we hear makes sense; every opinion means something. "
" Those looking for answers to many of the most pressing junior high student/teacher issues won't find them here. What they will discover is a well-dramatized list of many of the most vexing questions. "
" With an improvisational cinema-verite style and untrained student actors playing the kids, Cantet's quasi-documentary captures the dynamics of one suburban school and the multicultural learning curve that all of Europe is on today. "
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