A French film that earned a few nominations at the Oscars, "The Chorus" ("Les Choristes") is an enchanting little film that works much like a semi-serious version of "Sister Act 2." After all, it's a movie about a teacher who inspires a group of misfit children by getting them to sing.
Gérard Jugnot turns in a good performance as the new prefect at a boarding school for bad children (sometimes it's hard to judge how good of a performance, considering I'm watching the subtitles the entire time). His character of Mathieu immediately takes issue with the current headmaster's punishment style (you can guess where that'll end up), but he slowly starts to work on the children on his own. Though there are a few more resistant than others, the boys begin to civilize as they accept music into their lives, et cetera et cetera.
Gifted with great music, good performances and entertaining characters, "The Chorus" is a treat to watch, but more from an entertainment standpoint than anything else. It is funny and at times touching, but this story has been done over and over so many times (don't forget "Dead Poet's Society" and a thousand clones just like it) that it is hard to say, "Wow, what a terrific film." "The Chorus" is good and definitely worthy of recognition, but there's nothing new about it at the same time.
"The Chorus" is an enchanting little picture that should appeal to fans of the genre, but fans of the genre will find little original content at the same time.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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