Too many films about school insist on showing the teaching and learning enterprise at its worst. Students are portrayed as at best troubled and often just rotten, teachers are stupid or mean; parents are arrogant or absent. “Monsieur Lazhar” doesn’t, and that is only part of what distinguishes this moving, intelligent Canadian film, which opens in the Washington D.C. region on Friday, the Washington Post reports. The film, a 2012 Academy Award finalist for Best Foreign Language Film adapted from a one-character play, tells the story of an Algerian immigrant in Montreal who takes over an elementary school...

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