Monday Movie: The Class
Over the period of one school year, an unruly class of students attend the French lessons of teacher François Marin, taking advantage of his desire to engage with them, and drawing him into arguments. At times François finds the ability to inspire even his most troublesome charges, but when his own nature gets the better of him, it's those students who most need his help that are cast by the wayside.
Based on a semi-autobiographical novel by lead actor François Bégaudeau, The Class (Entre les Murs or Between the Walls) features a cast of real students and teachers, while director Laurent Cantet's close-up camerawork places the audience right in the classroom. This is not a message movie, or an inspiring true story, but rather an ambiguous slice of life where a teacher's double standards are as troubling as the bad behaviour of any student. If it has any significant fault, it's only in making real life seem too vivid.