Another good choice from Waterford Film for All. The Class (or Entre Les Murs in French … don’t know where they got the translation from) is about a teacher in a French secondary school trying to reach out to a troubled and troublesome class of underprivileged kids.
The style of the film is quite unusual, in that you feel you are sitting in the class, the camera panning around the room as comments and chaos fly around the class room. The dialogue is very fast in parts but is witty also. The actors who play the students are very good and the classroom scenes have a bit of improvisation in the dialogue which adds to the realism.
Some reviews claim this is a feel good film – I think, it could have been, but did not succeed. The film starts going in one direction, and you think you know where the film will end up, but I felt at the end it didn’t achieve its potential. Its about 40 mins too long, it has a weaker than expected conclusion (I don’t like films that just leave you hanging), and some loose ends were not resolved. Just because it has weak points does not mean I didn’t enjoy the majority of the film, it was entertaining and compelling in parts.
The Class was directed by Laurent Cantet and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year and was very unlucky not to get an Academy award.