Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Kad Merad, Jean-Paul Bonnaire, Marie Bunel, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Maxence Perrin, Thomas Blumenthal, Cyril Bernicot and Jacques Perrin

Christophe Barratier

Running Time:
95 mins

Out to buy on DVD 11/07/05

"Action - Reaction!"

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.

Once 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.

A 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.

From 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.


Presented 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)
Director Christophe 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 the film.

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.


Dead Poet's Society

The Usher Home | Hush, Hush... | The Big Story | The Usher Speaks

Stuck @ Home | Coming Soon | Links | Contact the Usher