MOVIE OF THE WEEK January 5, 2024: THE TEACHER’S LOUNGE

Leonie Benesch gives a stellar performance as teacher Carla Nowak in director Ilker Çatak’s tense German drama The Teacher’s Lounge. Pulled in opposing directions by her desire to do the right thing for her young students and the pressure to support the school and its procedures, Carla is barely able to hold herself together — and Benesch conveys that stress and insecurity with every expression that crosses her face.

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THE TEACHER’S LOUNGE – Review by Leslie Combemale

The Teacher’s Lounge takes issues like the perpetration of stereotypes, the malleability of truth, the challenges of the educational system and the growing feelings of alienation that plague modern society and examines them through one cautionary tale. Leonie Benesch plays Carla Nowak, a teacher working at a junior high where the faculty is dealing with petty theft. A little money, some pencils, and other small items have been disappearing. Carla takes it upon herself to try to suss out the culprit, but it leads to accusations, bad feelings, and worse, with members of both the faculty and student body. That may not sound like its 98 minutes are all high pressure, but in director/co-screenwriter Ilker Çatak’s capable hands, they are

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THE TEACHER’S LOUNGE – Review by Nikki Fowler

İlker Çatak’s German thriller The Teachers’ Lounge is a raw donut into the classroom/teacher dynamic where what is usually defined as a safe space in which students are nurtured and educated, is truly at times a petri dish of real-world antics, including racism, crime, cheating, violence, stereotypes, bias and social chaos at some of the most important developmental years of one’s life and it’s not always coming from the students.

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THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE – Review by Diane Carson

German director İlker Çatak scrutinizes the unraveling in microcosm of an entire community in The Teachers’ Lounge. Racism, institutional bureaucracy, and principled positions fuel heated personal and professional interaction after a Turkish student is falsely accused of theft, his classmates are asked to confirm or refute the accusation, and compassionate, idealistic teacher Carla Nowak seeks the real thief.

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AWARDS INTELLIGENCER: Oscar Best Picture Noms Are a Muddle – Thelma Adams reports

The Golden Globe nominations are in, along with those of the National Board of Review winners and a host of critics’ groups – Why is Oscar’s Best Picture still in such a muddle? It seems to me that the potential winners have been split into distinct categories, like potential Jeopardy questions: Barbenheimer; All the Big Dudes; The Cool Kids; The Internationals; and Outlier Odds and Ends.

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THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE (TIFF 2023) – Review by Liz Braun

In the school setting, co-writer/director Catak has created a microcosm of the world we live in, with all the same differing factions, prejudices, offhand cruelty and cancel culture machinations available on a daily basis. The Teachers Lounge is a tense, brilliant ride; the film won a handful of German Film Awards in 2023 and will represent Germany in the Best International Film Category at the 2024 Oscars.

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