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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Monsieur Lazhar [Blu-ray]


(Philippe Falardeau, 2011)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: micro_scope

Video: Music Box Films



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:34:06.432

Disc Size: 29,335,542,748 bytes

Feature Size: 20,968,233,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 18.10 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 28th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio French 2890 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2890 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio French 2049 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2049 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



• From Stage to Screen (33:34 in 1080P)

• Big Talk with Phillipe Falardeau (21:30 in 1080P)

• Alice and Simon Audition Tapes (5:58 in 480i)

• Theatrical Trailer (2:08 in 1080P)

• Bachir's Story

• Alice's Report





Description: Nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film, Monsieur Lazhar tells the moving and poignant story of a Montreal middle school class shaken by the death of their well-liked teacher, and the 55-year-old Algerian immigrant who offers his services as a substitute teacher and aids the process of collective healing.



The Film:

‘Monsieur Lazhar’ was nominated for Best Foreign Film at this year’s Oscars, and Philippe Falardeau, who adapted the story from a one-man play, does a wonderful job with his child actors. The classroom scenes transported me right back to primary school, capturing perfectly the texture of school life: the intimacy of kids who have known each other practically all their lives. You could almost describe ‘Monsieur Lazhar’ as a morality tale, but it’s more thought-provoking than debate-provoking. Its strength is the realness of the emotions and authenticity of the detail, although there is a gentle insistence here that integration is a two-way street.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

A teacher and his students learn from one another in the wake of a tragedy in this drama from director Philippe Falardeau. Simon (Emilien Neron) and Alice (Sophie Nelisse) are a pair of grade school students who one day make a shocking discovery, as they witness their teacher taking her own life in their classroom. The school's principal (Danielle Proulx) wants things back to normal as soon as possible, and when substitute teacher Bachir Lazhar (Fellag) drops off his resume after learning of the tragedy, he's hired almost on the spot. The children don't immediately take to Lazhar, most of whom have never had a male teacher before, and Lazhar has his own adjustments to deal with -- he's an Algerian immigrant new to Montreal, he's still learning the finer points of Quebecoise French, and his teaching style differs from that of his new colleagues. But as Lazhar tries to guide Simon, Alice and their classmates through the shock of what has happened, he also finds the experience helps him heal after struggling with a loss of his own. Monsieur Lazhar (aka Bachir Lazhar) won the Audience Award at the 2011 Locarno Film Festival, and became Canada's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film competition at the United States Academy Awards.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Monsieur Lazhar appears decent Blu-ray from Music Box Films.  The image quality is clean and reasonably crisp with some teal leaning.  Contrast is strong and there are instances of depth. Despite having a modest bitrate the 1080P is easily distinguishable as being HD. Colors seem reasonably passive without boosting.  By modern standards this is a reasonable and average Blu-ray representation and probably very accurate top the original production. It advances beyond DVD editions in several key areas - notably detail and depth.
















Audio :

Audio is offered in the original French in both a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at 2890 kbps and a lossless 2.0 channel track at 2049 kbps. As could surmise this is not an aggressive film with little to no action and the only notable separations are subtle school hall sounds. There is some original music by Martin Léon that runs gently in the background - supporting the film nicely via the uncompressed tracks. There is some depth exported and there are optional English subtitles. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Stacked supplements include a "From Stage to Screen" piece with the director for 1/2 and hour in HD detailing adapting Quebecois playwright Evelyne de la Chenelière's one-man play onto the screen. Big Talk with Phillipe Falardeau is 21-minute in HD of more from the director in a crowded auditorium. We also get Alice and Simon very cute Audition Tapes (5:58 in 480i), a theatrical trailer and text screens of Bachir's Story and Alice's Report. Great stuff.



Wow! - Monsieur Lazhar surprises - what comes across as a simple story becomes a highly profound human experience. It's quite a brilliant film. I was very impressed with how Philippe Falardeau created such a heartwarming aura and the wonderful performances of the children. The Music Box Blu-ray does an adept job and I can see many cinema fans gravitating to this worthy film presentation. Strongly recommended!! 

Gary Tooze

August 22nd, 2012


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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