By Kate Rodger
Canada's best foreign film offering for the last Academy Awards won itself an Oscar nomination and now finally arrives in cinemas here.
Monsieur Lazhar is a gentle story set in a school in Montréal that's grieving over the loss of a teacher.
International critics and audiences alike have been raving all year about the French-Canadian film and its very easy to see why.
While an obviously very emotional, sad story, it's also a heart-warming one, and delivered with some very impressive fresh performances from its young cast.
They are coping with the recent suicide of their teacher and their new replacement teacher is only too aware of the struggle many are going through.
But Monsieur Lazhar has some very dark and sad secrets of his own, and their journey together is a very revealing one.
There were so many obvious stereotypes to play, and clichéd themes to embedded into this story. While some are touched on, they're not exploited.
It gives the experience a subtlety which certainly increases the emotional connection for the audience.
Most definitely worth the watch.
:: Director: Philippe Falardeau
:: Starring: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx
:: Running Time: 94 mins
:: Rating: M - contains adult themes
:: Release Date: November 22, 2012