Finally got out to see Monsieur Lazhar yesterday afternoon at the TIFF Bell Lightbox – and was so glad I did. What a beautiful, tender – and also funny and frank – film!
Monsieur Lazhar comes to the school as a replacement teacher under tragic circumstances. As he works with the students, both academically and with their grief, so too does he process his own grief. Secrets come to light as he and the students try to make sense of senseless events that have deeply affected their lives, which will never be the same again. Outstanding cast, especially Fellag (M. Lazhar) and the students.
Monsieur Lazhar was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and won several Genies, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Fellag and Best Supporting Actress (Sophie Nélisse, as student Alice). Highly recommended – for details, check out the IMDB page.
Last night, I joined my pal Liam Doherty at the Fox & Fiddle (Wellesley St.) for Pub Crawl Theatre’s In Vino Veritas, an evening of music and monologues organized by actor/writer Teige Reid. Singer/songwriter Julian Sark took the first set, overcoming technical difficulties with his rented sound equipment to do an acoustic set of original folk rock tunes. Lovely, melodic sounds and lyrics. I picked up his band Flickershow’s CD drawing a blank; the band is now on an indefinite hiatus, but he has a solo CD in the works: Pedestrians Obey Your Signals. You can find Julian on his website.
Teige Reid ruled the post-intermission set with a series of monologues, collectively titled In Vino Veritas, each character’s piece bridged by Irish bartender Seamus. Darkly funny, poignant, insightful and lyrical, there really is truth in the liquor.
The monologues were followed by a game of “What’s in the Wellie?” Teige, as Scotsman Rory, asked for an audience volunteer and I’d had just enough pints to go for it. I will say that, while I do know Teige, I had no idea what was in store. I was instructed to remove my right shoe and sock. I was then to put my foot into the boot, with the heads-up that there was something inside, the object of the game being guessing what that something was. The audience had their part too, asking in unison what was in the wellie – to which I responded “I don’t know, but I think it’s…” and made a one-word guess. Jello? Cold porridge? In the end, it was baked beans. Great fun and Teige kindly supplied me with a wash basin, soap and towel to clean up.
Teige is hoping this will be the beginning of Pub Crawl Theatre performing a rotating series of shows at various pubs throughout the city, featuring local singers, actors, comics and writers. And I hope so too – it was a great evening – and I’ll be sure to keep you posted.