by Erica Abeel (December 15, 2008)

Sometimes the hallmark of a winning film is integrity – in the original sense of the Greek word meaning “integrated” and “whole” – when the film’s original vision seems perfectly to match its execution. That’s the perfume that rises off Laurent Cantet‘s “The Class” (“Entre les Murs”), which screened at the tail end of Cannes 2008 and captured the Palme d’Or after a lineup of films that frequently landed wide of the mark. “Class” rolls out all of a piece – Cannes jury prez Sean Penn called it “seamless.” And while keeping its boundaries tightly delimited, “Class” opens a window on contemporary France and rainbow cultures beyond.

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