Film Review: MONSIEUR LAZHAR is a lesson in healing

Shot in Inwood, Manhattan’s most northern neighborhood, our spectacular host, Stefanie Alleyne, joins today’s panelists, Erin Parks, a digital media professional; Patrice Francois, a screenwriter and actress; and Carmen Lee Shue, a veteran real estate agent; at “Inwood Local,” a splendid wine bar and beer garden, to review and discuss the Canadian indie favorite and an 2012 Oscar nominated film for Best Foreign Film, “Monsieur Lazhar.”

“Monsieur Lazhar,” is the fourth film by Canadian writer and director, Philippe Falardeau. It is based on a stage play written by Evelyne de la Cheneliere. The story takes place during a snowy winter in a public school in Montreal, Quebec where a class of sixth graders are coming to terms with their own grief from the unexpected loss of a much loved teacher. They find solace in an unsuspecting candidate who believes he has arrived “at the right place at the right time” only to discover that the task at hand is intricately more complex than he anticipated forcing him to address dark issues of his own.

Eloquent and beautifully acted, this is an understated film with incredibly powerful performances. In particular, are the portrayals by the young actors who play the repressed students attempting to juggle the uncomfortable emotionally driven adult themes they are dealt. Rich in authenticity, it’s an crucial observation of how ineffective talking at students is instead of talking with them during crucial moments in life.

More About our Fabulous Panel

Erin Parks is a writer, digital media professional, originally from Athens, Georgia. She has worked on film and television promo projects for HBO, TV Land, and NBC Sports. Erin is in love with all things digital and loves to stay abreast of tech news.

Follow her at @eparksm for the latest.


Carmen Lee Shue is a licensed real estate broker, a writer, a speaker, and a published author. She has contributed to periodicals such as iReal Estate Weekly and Brokers’ Weekly, the papers of the real estate industry, Cooperator, Habitat, Spirit, Resident, New York Living and Brooklyn Progress.

As a talk show host, she has written, produced, edited and hosted “The Carmen Lee Shue Real Estate” Show, which can be seen every Monday night at 9:30 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Channel 57, RCN Channel 84, Verizon Channel 35 and also simulcast on

Ms. Lee is the president and owner of Lee Shue Realty, Inc. and operates her office in mid-town Manhattan.  Her company specializes in the selling and renting of residential and commercial properties though out the City.  She is also a Public Member on Community Board 6. For more information about Ms. Lee Shue e-mail her at:

Born in Rockland County, New York, Patrice Francois is a graduate from the University at Buffalo with a Bachelors of Arts, in Theatre with a Minor in African American studies.  She is an actor, screenwriter, and an aspiring filmmaker with hopes of completing her first short film this summer, as well as working on her documentary.  Her goal as screenwriter and director is to bring more diverse and engaging characters to film.
Patrice has performed in over 11 stage and film productions including “For Colored Girls” and “The Vagina Monologues”, where both of her performances received great reviews.  When Patrice isn’t perfecting her craft, you can find her working on her screenplays and aspiring to be a director in both film and on stage.

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