Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 02/09/2024
Production Company: Sony Pictures Classics

Eva Lobau, Michael Klammer, Leo Stettnisch and Uygar Tamer.

Director: Ilker Catak. Producer: Ingo Fliess. Executive Producer: Ingo Fliess. Screenwriter: Johannes Duncker. Cinematographer: Judith Kaufman.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

The Oscar nominated German film, "The Teacher's Lounge," ("Best International Feature"), from director "İlker Çatak who co-wrote the movie with Johannes Duncker" ("I Was, I Am, I Will Be") unfolds like a taut murder mystery. From the opening to the bitter end, this is one mesmerizing drama.

Leonie Benesch (TV's "The Swarm" and "The Crown") plays Carla Nowak, a new, young and inspiring physical education teacher at a public school in Germany. At first blush Carla appears to have a handle on her classroom of sixth graders. They seem to like her. That changes quickly when a rash of thefts occur at the school.

However, none of the teachers have a clue who is behind the stealing. So, the principal Bettina Bohm (Anne-Kathrin Gummich) and teacher Milosz Dudek (Rafael Stachoviak) insist on inspecting all the boys wallets/pockets in Carla's class. All eyes initially are on the Turkish/Muslim kid named Ali (Can Rodenbostel) because he has a pocketful of money. He also has adamant parents who inform the school administrators that they gave Ali the money to purchase video games.

Then when Carla notices someone has taken money from her wallet which was inside the pocket of her jacket that she had in the teacher's lounge, that changes everything. Carla decides to use her laptop and record the goings on in the lounge, hoping she'll catch the person red-handed.

She's stunned to see that the alleged thief is Friederike Kuhn (Eva Lobau) who works at the school's administrative office and is the mother of her best student, Oskar. Could Oskar's mom really be stealing?

When the reporters/journalists at the school newspaper get wind of Carla's invasive surveillance of the students and others, her well-meaning attempt at solving the problem only adds to it. The students band together and rebel against her. Leading the charge is Oskar who is angry that his mother's character has been questioned and that she has been placed on leave while the issue is sorted out. He's demanding that Carla publicly apologize.

It's surprising how well structured "The Teacher's Lounge" is. Benesch delivers a masterful performance as this endearing teacher who is trying to get a grip as her life suddenly begins to spiral out of control.

"The Teacher's Lounge" is a surprising, jarring, compelling psychological drama that's worthy of its Oscar nomination.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays now at 5:17 p.m. and 6:47 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Look At This Trailer For "THE TEACHER'S LOUNGE"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


<b> That Man Bolt</b> Title: That Man Bolt
Year Released: 1973
Running Time: 103
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Henry Levin and David Lowell Rich
Director of Photography: Gerald Perry Finnerman
Screenwriter: Charles Johnson and Ranald MacDougall
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: Updated Feature--2023

After Fred "The Hammer" Williamson carved out a stellar career as a defensive back in the National Football League with teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (Williamson played in Super Bowl I), The Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers, Williamson tackled Hollywood and became an...
Which one of the following TV shows was re-made into a big screen movie and starred Fred "The Hammer" Williamson?
"Starsky & Hutch"
"Charlie's Angels"
"Hawaii Five-O"