The Singer (Quand j'etais chanteur) (2006)

The Singer (Quand j'etais chanteur)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A small-time crooner of sentimental ballads enters into a May-December romance with a fragile young real-estate agent in this low-key romantic drama starring Gérard Depardieu and Cécile de France. Fifty-something Alain (Depardieu) is something of a local celebrity in Clermont-Ferrand, and few nights pass when the popular singer-of-standards doesn't exit the stage until well into the morning hours. But karaoke is making singers such as Alain a rare breed these days, and it seems as if his days … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
In Theaters:
EuropaCorp. Distribution - Official Site


as Alain Moreau

as Philippe Mariani

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Critic Reviews for The Singer (Quand j'etais chanteur)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3)

An admirably tough, ambivalent and honest look at the fraught relationship between real feelings and the culturally acceptable (or otherwise) public expression of similar emotions as manipulative entertainment. Excellent.

Full Review… | October 28, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The Singer hits all its emotional gracenotes with spot-on pitch.

Full Review… | May 30, 2006
Top Critic

June 5, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

A gentle lament for the relics of an era, an affectionate epitaph for a dying breed of crooners perishing in the cheap mockery of neon discothèques and cubicle apartments.

Full Review… | November 16, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

Gentle humour and earthy emotion give this film a wonderfully relaxed tone that astutely captures our imagination.

Full Review… | September 29, 2007
Shadows on the Wall

Giannoli's film is as bitter as it is sweet and paints the scene with masterly precision, even if the usual comforting ending is at odds with what has gone before.

Full Review… | September 29, 2007
This is London

Audience Reviews for The Singer (Quand j'etais chanteur)


"Sometimes love can be found in the most unexpected places"

Alain Moreau sings for one of the few remaining dance-bands in Clermont-Ferrand. Though something of an idol amongst his female audience he has a melancholic awareness of the slow disappearance of that audience and of his advancing years. He is completely knocked off balance when he meets strikingly attractive and much younger businesswoman Marion.

On the basis of this one film, Xavier Giannoli seems like a limited director, one who can coax a good performance from an actor--or simply stand out of the way when it's the monumental Depardieu--but who shows little sense of style or drama. I lost count of the number of scenes that go nowhere, that serve only to bring out another of Alain Moreau's foibles. Why does the singer have to share scenes with a goat, for heaven's sake? Poor Mathieu Amalric: here's one of the most interesting actors in France, and his character can only open doors and make introductions.

Gerard Depardieu is splendid, it's one of his five best career performances. He's entirely at ease, spinning his stories to the enchanted but watchful Cecile de France. To play Marion, she has had to turn down the Audrey Hepburn gamine quality; she's very effective in a few scenes.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer


Nice movie about a much older man with a past who falls for young woman who doesn't fall for his charms. Both are sad characters who come to help each other in a strange sort of way.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Simple and complicated, very engrossing. It's really interesting to see the life of these kind of singers. It's really sweet too and sad.

Patrick Dolan

Super Reviewer

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