Movie Reviews (such as they are)

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Choir (aka Les Choristes)

I have never watched Mr Holland's Opus, nor do I intend to, but I have seen other teacher-changes-pupils'-lives flicks, such as Stand and Deliver, Dangerous Minds, etc. Wasn't 187 one of those films, too?

Anyways, it's not my most favouritest genre in the world of cinema, so it was with more than a little reluctance that I was persuaded to watch The Choir. I figured a bunch of teenage French boys squeaking out classical music was just not going to be my bag.

How wrong can a guy be? I should, by now, trust Wife's judgment, since she so often has a good nose for a good film.

The plot is simple: new music teacher-cum-supervisor arrives at a school for unruly, unteachable, antisocial boys (kind of like a borstal). He discovers they have a few good voices among them and that they like to sing (albeit dirty ditties and songs insulting the teachers), and this sows the seed to turn around their lives with music.

Of course, the path to the kids' enlightenment is blocked along the way by a cunt of a principal, who is intent on keeping the boys scared and stupid.

This movie is a great journey, and nothing like the films named above. It feels genuine, and it may even bring a tear to your eye. And you know when a movie is genuine? When you know that someone in the cast -- in this case the guy who plays the new teacher -- thought the idea strong enough to invest his own money to get it made. The result of his gamble? He became the highest-paid French actor of the year. Good for him.

Acting: 13
Story: 12
Direction: 15
Enjoyment: 16
Cerebral pleasure: 13
Total: 69