Leonie Benesch is Sensational in The Teacher’s Lounge (2023) A

Leonie Benesch, who impressed us in “The Crown” playing Prince Philip’s unfortunate elder sister, is sensational in director İlker Çatak’s masterful first feature “The Teacher’s Lounge.” She portrays Carla, a recent university graduate determined to give her students the best education possible. She believes in teaching with patience and putting a stop to bullying. However, she finds herself defending her students repeatedly outside of class as minor thefts occur, leading other teachers to act as amateur detectives, racially profiling, leaping, and intimidating the children. Carla decides to set up a hidden camera to end this drama and the related abuses of power quickly and quietly. Unfortunately, this decision results in accusations, suspicion, and betrayal that spreads throughout the faculty, student body, and beyond.

The teacher's Lounge

Catak and his co-writer Johannes Duncker, aided by a sublime performance by Benesch, a superb supporting cast, and a nail-biting score by Marvin Miller, turn this scenario into thrilling edge-of-your-seat entertainment, all the while touching on such themes as racism, immigration, and freedom of speech – while the film is predominantly in German, English, Turkish and Polish also figure prominently. All of these topics are very much in the news at the moment. “The Teacher’s Lounge” presents them in the microcosm of the school environment, and it is all the more potent for that.

The movie’s final scene packs a real wallop.

Nominated for Best International Film at the 96th Academy Awards.


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