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Ms. Huppert plays a withdrawn science teacher who is faced with a hostile class, a poncey principal (Duris), and supported by a loving, sweet husband (Garcia).
Her class is filled with mostly immigrant children hell-bent on driving her crazy, especially Malik (the cripple). One afternoon, after class, she goes to her private laboratory and gets a bolt of electricity straight to the heart. From there we see a new, stronger teacher who begins to turn Malik into an interested student while things heat up around campus and the town when a glowing figure begins to challenge the unruly youth of her school.
This isn't the sci-fi you would expect BUT it is definitely a derivative with good character development despite nailing down the end game.
Oddly, and fantastically, Huppert gives a REAL geometry lesson to Malik at the midpoint. What a refresher that was!
This is one odd film filled with odd characters. Maybe worth it to see the geometry lesson. Let your thirst for higher education be your guide.
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I thought the ending was pretty good too, as it causes you (or it caused me) to re-evaluate the apparent "happy ending" which had occurred about 20-25 minutes previously. I also thought it was a nice touch that the high school is named after Arthur Rimbaud - from a couple of different points of view.
I have a hard time getting my wife to watch a subtitled film with me but, being a retired school teacher, she was curious about this film. In the end we both thought the film maker got lost and so did we. I always enjoy Isabelle Huppert, even in a stinker film. Romain Duris' character amused me, and the geometry lesson was good.
Forest for the Trees is an interesting film, about a school teacher in Germany, that my wife and I both enjoyed more...and got more from.
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