Starting his new job as a
supervisor in a boys boarding school, Clément Mathieu (Jugnot) finds that the
children are ruled by a policy of 'Action - Reaction' by Principle Rachin (Berléand).
This leads the boys to be rebellious, mischievous and unwilling to learn but he
thinks that a new method will turn them around. Forming a choir, the boys find
a togetherness that they never thought they would ever have, and Clément discover
that the power of music can sooth even the most disruptive influence.
in a while a movie comes along that lifts you and fills you full of the joys of
the human spirit, Les Choristes (The Chorus) is one of those films.
film about a school of misbehaving, mischievous boys been tamed by music might
not sound like the most appealing concept for a movie as it sounds the premise
for a new 'Reality' TV show, but this film blows any misconceptions out of the
water. Set in the late 1940s, we meet Clément Mathieu, a disillusioned teacher,
who decides to hide himself away in a boarding school on the outskirts of Lyon.
He enters the school to find it ran like a dictatorship with the boys just as
disillusioned as he was. With a regime of excessive punishment, Clément tries
another way of connecting with the boys buy forming a choir.
the off, the movie grips you, drawing you into the characters and their situation.
Told in flashback as the older Morhange reads from Clément's diary, the story
takes you through his time at the school. We are introduced to the tyrannical
Principle Rachin played with just the right amount of malice and distance by François
Berléand, who is everything a teacher shouldn't be and sees himself as better
than this posting, taking this shortcomings out on the boys. Kad Merad plays the
equally disillusioned Chabert, who has lost all faith in the boys and just dishes
out the punishment. Then we have the boys. Jean-Baptiste Maunier plays the young
Pierre Morhange, one of the boys that has been labelled as a trouble-causer by
the principle but has a real talent for music. Maxence Perrin is the young Pépinot,
an orphan who refuses to belief that his father is dead and waits by the school
gate every Saturday on visiting day. Finally we have Clément himself, played wonderfully
by Gérard Jugnot, whose passion for music is re-ignited by the enthusiasm and
commitment of the boys. This is a leading role played by a non-conventional actor,
but this only increases the believability and your wiliness get behind the character
and what he is trying to do for the children.
With all these
strong characters, some of the boys in the choir don't get as much development
or backstory as they should do. This leads to you not been involved with the entire
choir as much as you should be, as you really don't know enough about them. However,
this might have distracted you away from the main storyline and the performances
of the lead characters.
'Les Choristes (The Chorus)' is one
of those very rare uplifting films that will take you through a myriad of emotions.
With exceptional performances, characters that you are willing to invest time
in and a story that grabs you from the off, this is a joy of a movie that you
will treasure for a very long time.
PICTURE & SOUND
in Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the movie
is presented very well.
Making of (1hr 12.22 mins)
Barratier, stars Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Kad Merad, Jacques Perrin,
Marie Bunel, Carole Weiss and the children of the choir take you behind the scenes
of 'The Chorus'. The documentary offers an honest and interesting insight into
the making of a period drama, with the child actors of the piece offering commentary
throughout, as we see the production through their eyes. Here we see how they
created the winter effect for the beginning of the film, even though they were
filming during the summer, the costumes that recreated the period, the creation
of the school and most importantly the music. We also get to take a look at some
of the key characters as they take you through the production of the film from
start to finish. This is an excellent making of documentary that really complements
Theatrical trailer (1.28 mins)
Watch the promotional
trailer for the movie that was shown in cinemas.
Even without the inclusion of the usual deleted scenes, commentaries
etc, the DVD treatment for 'The Chorus' is still a success simply because of the
excellent documentary. This is how a 'making of…' should be done and makes this
a really good package for fans of this wonderful movie.
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