PG-13 for some language.
Jan. 14, 2005
Gerard Jugnot, Francois Berleand,
Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Jean-Paul Bonnaire, Jacques Perrin
Christophe Barratier and Philippe
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
Chorus (or Les Choristes) takes place in a Dickens-like
boarding school for young delinquents in the 1940s. Teachers shout at
students and send the bad ones to a damp, windowless cell. A down-on-his-luck
music composer applies for a job at the school as a last resort. His outsider’s
perspective brings the humanity and care to the children that they need
and desire. The new teacher forms a choir and shows the students how to
sing. Their activity curtails many of the discipline problems and gives
them a newfound sense of accomplishment. Not only a call for compassion,
this movie is also a demonstration of the power of art.
Good acting makes this story engaging. Especially excellent are Gérard
Jugnot, who plays the teacher and composer, and the young actor Jean-Baptiste
Maunier. Reportedly, the children in the film performed all of their own
singing, and those scenes are impressive. Note, however, that the choir
sings only secular songs.
Admittedly, casting music as the balm that soothes the students’
lives is clichéd, but the warm, happy ending makes up for it. The
Chorus is nowhere near perfect, but it is a nice tale of compassion
and reaching out to the unfortunate and disaffected.
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