17 February 2012

Secret Screening at the Music Box Theater

On Wednesday I received a rather charming email from the Music Box Theater offering me two free tickets to see a movie. I thought to myself, free tickets, what's the catch? Obviously, since there's no such thing in a free lunch, there's no such thing as a free movie... and the catch was that the movie screening was a complete SURPRISE. The only hints were that it is an Oscar nominee, and that the film has yet to screen in Chicago. Naturally, being the curious cat that I am, I took the bait.

Before the movie, Spencer and I participated in my ritual of grabbing a snack at Julius Meinl. We noshed on their sandwiches, and I opted to try something new - a German bologna, pickle, and mustard aioli sandwich with a cream of turkey soup. While I wasn't crazy about the soup, I LOVED the sandwich. It was crispy, flavorful, and simple. I'm of the mentality that even with the most basic of ingredients, the key to a good sandwich is all in the crispiness, freshness, and flavor of the bread. And a perk for me, was that I told the waiter I didn't love the soup, gave him a pointer on how I would've done it different, and he comped it for me! Let it be known my fellow foodies and consumers, giving good and useful feedback can equal free food!
  Chai tea at Julius Meinl chai tea with cinnamon at Julius Meinl

We headed to the mystery movie after dinner, and settled into our seats. We talked for half an hour, I kept glancing at my watch, anxious to find out what it is we were about to see!
  Secret screening at the Music Box!

Just after 7:30, the general manager came onto the stage to unveil the big surprise... and to my surprise, a majority of the film buffs in the crowd had done their research and figured out that the film we were about to see was Monsieur Lazhar - a foreign film that has already won a slew of awards.

The film takes place in Montreal, and is entirely in French. The story opens up to the classroom of 11 and 12 year old students whose world has been rocked to the core following the suicide of their beloved teacher, Martine. The film sheds light on the way in which humans deal with grief and mourning in a public and contemporary space of the structured school environment - showing how the teachers, students, and parents cope on very different levels. While students embrace the grief, many of the parents stifle it. And then to spice things up, a replacement teacher arrives in time to establish stability, assert change, and encourage healing and mourning, all while correcting grammar and getting all of the students to fall in love with him! Monsieur Lazhar was filmed beautifully, and deals with the difficult subject matter of death and suicide with grace and poise. Though the story was dense and poignant, moments of lightness and humor interject at all of the right times. I really enjoyed this film, and was pleasantly surprised to be invited to be one of the first viewers to see it.


If you're looking for an amazing and compelling movie, I highly suggest giving this one a try. It will be playing at the Music Box in March. And once again. thank you to my favorite theater, the Music Box. You made last night wonderful!

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