The Chorus (Les Choristes) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ June 11, 2014
It is very easy to feel enchanted by the beautiful songs and the accessible, formulaic narrative, but the problem is that this film is in fact a silly fantasy that could hardly take place in real life, with a predictable plot and all those clichés found in movies about inspirational teachers.
Super Reviewer
½ November 11, 2012
Touching and moving film about the profound impact youth and hope can have on the roadweary willing to take chances and accept the hands dealt...and vice versa. Really worth seeing for anyone who was inspired by a teacher in their youth or who thinks thay may have inspired others.
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2010
Beautiful movie! Sweet. Heart warming. Charming. The actual chorus of young children they used for this movie sang like angels. This little film gives me hope that if children are engaged in the arts in some form, it becomes possible for them to overcome, or at least survive, the damage of earlier years of neglect.
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2011
The Chorus is a charming story of hope infused with so much optimism and nostalgia. Genuine, heartwarming, and greatly inspiring. A humble, beautiful ballad to celebrate innocence and beauty. A joyful watch. Resonating.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2010
Family friendly, heartfelt, and a cinematic masterpiece. A contender for Best Foreign Film, it delivers.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2008
Power of music, A good feel-good movie
Super Reviewer
April 11, 2007
In my old age, I've sometimes discovered that what with Turner, FLIX, IFC, HBO, MAX, and a neverending Netflix queue, it's easy to become jaded about films, hardened and growing harder as lots of mediocre movies come flying at me really fast. Then suddenly, flixster friends, just at the point where I'm sometimes almost ready to believe that I might actually give up on movies, I'll run across a film like this one, and my heart, I kid you not, literally sings. My ever-thickening armor appears still to have a chink or two in it : ) If you are a fan of any of the following movies, Les Choristes may be a viewing experience you might enjoy. Think Going My Way; Fame; Oliver; Cinema Paradiso; Goodbye, Mr. Chips (either Donat or O'Toole); Billy Elliot; and Dead Poets Society, just to name a few of the movies that flashed through my mind while I watched this. Les Choristes is pure joy, and even the romantic tribulations of choirmaster Mathieu and speculation about his possible failed last chance at love could not take me anywhere but up. I am so glad I ran across this one. It jumps into my top 100 immediately.
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2006
Yes... The Chorus is magic...
Super Reviewer
July 1, 2012
When a new teacher is sent to work at a severely directed boys' boarding school, he works his best to make a positive effect on their lives. He does this with music; properly training his students to assemble themselves into a chorus group.

The Chorus follows such a common plot. First, we have a school of rebellious minors who never seem to behave. Some of these teens are plain crazy, some are quite, and other's even like to run around the place. It takes no movie-expert to know that slowly, these children are going to grow a liking towards the teacher in the end. Because of the general plot in this film, things could have easily been turn into a bad movie. Luckily, The Chorus never exaggerates as it could have if taken by the wrong hands. Instead, it is a quite film that concentrates on its character's, and atmosphere. This makes a slightly heartwarming film, that will somewhat uplift you.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2013
This is heartwarming and not too schmaltzy.
Super Reviewer
December 8, 2007
A beautiful little film.
Super Reviewer
½ November 9, 2007
A charming, little french movie about a school teacher and his fight against the stiff director and for his rascals. I say "little" movie, because the film has a very b-movie feel about it. The humour is subtle, so is the direction and the acting. As with many french comedies (or comedy/dramas), the tone is slightly flamboyant and the lust for life (passion pour la vie) emits from the screen. The cast works quite well, despite being very typecast and grotesque at times. The lead (Jugnot) is faboulous as the goofy, but good hearted teacher, so is the mean Berleand. The boys are quite solid in their performance as well, also their stories are not told independently of the main character, so they are rather one-sided characters in the movie. Maybe it is just me, but I thought that the movie had quite a homosexual undertone (History Boys in French) which was a bit discomforting considering the age of the boys, but as I said, maybe that is just me, there is no direct indication for that.

The ending is as you would expect it, but not as bombastic and flat as in American mainstream cinema, more subtle and believable, it also ties in nicely with the story.

Id recommend this movie for rainy Tuesday evening. You guys know what I am trying to say.

Super Reviewer
½ April 8, 2009
Les Choristes is a story told in a flashback, when a reunion occurs between two men who were in the school together a half century earlier.
The film invited us to understand these boys sensibility and why there were treated so badly. In fact, they have always been treated badly by institutions, educators and parents. The importance of fathers in their lives and their great need for a substitute, because the natural fathers were missing, was beautifully explored in this film. The screenplay was very effective in showing how the combination of giving boys strong education, or winning their heart with tenderness was possible. This film helped to understand how the human being can be hard at one moment, and sweet to the next.
A worth to watch.
Super Reviewer
October 2, 2008
I actually missed the last 30 minutes of this but I'll rate it judging on what I've seen so far. Nothing new but rather charming.
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2008
The old formula of a lone teacher inspiring some unruly pupils to experience the better ways of the world or use their talents to the highest advantage is hardly an original concept, but when executed properly can often result in an uplifting and entertaining picture that achieves its goals, even if the bar wasn't set too high in the first place.

'The Chorus' recounts the tale of Clement Mathieu, a French music teacher who puts together a choir at a local school for disobedient boys. He encounters a fair amount of criticism in exercising his dream, but eventually it pays off; these boys simultaneously learn the harmony of classical music and that their teachers - and the outside world - aren't that much against the possibility of succeeding in life.

Despite being deeply conventional, director Christophe Barratier opts for a bold and mature approach to the story. Sweeping camera movements and use of the choir's angelic vocal chords for background music add a sophisticated touch to otherwise ordinary scenes, and the opening and closing flash-forward segments don't linger on too much sentimentality.

It is unfortunate, however, to learn that other than the incredibly gifted Jean-Baptiste Maunier, all of the singing was completed by a professional choir. It's not only cheating the audience but there would be nothing overtly flawed about the picture if these boys could only sing really well; mind-blowing brilliance isn't necessary to capture the film's true emotional core.

For 'The Chorus' is a charming and spirited film. Gerard Jugnot delivers a fine performance as Mathieu, exuding a inherent goodness about him that ensures not a member of the audience will have cause for dislike, and while the narrative is formulaic and clichéd, it is very nearly the best of its kind. The atmosphere is strong, and full of soul.

Okay so the sudden transformation of a bunch of hard-to-handle school-kids is a tad unlikely, not to mention the temporary taming of a tyrannous principle with some brutish policies (scenes with him kick-starting a friendly ball game and throwing paper aeroplanes round his office were far too convoluted and unnatural), but 'The Chorus' works by embracing the conventional rather than trying too hard to work around it. The tale ends exceptionally rosy, but a little triumphant anecdote now and then isn't so hard to swallow, especially one that makes you feel as elated as this.
Super Reviewer
½ May 25, 2008
AH! This won an Oscar! There were far better foreign films than this that year. It's so predictable and very over the top.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2007
Heart-warming little French film that I enjoyed once, and will enjoy several other times. It felt almost like a balm of goodness that you smother all over your heart and let rest; undoubtedly a wonderful sensation.

The boys have amazing voices (especially Jean-Baptiste Maunier), but the story isn't all centered around composing a choir. No, actually there's a solid plot and a dash of drama that'll keep you entertained all throughout. Smiles and tears guaranteed!

Watch if you've got heart, otherwise avoid and fill your mind with some heartless Hollywood film!
Super Reviewer
½ December 20, 2006
A very touching film not to miss!
½ December 15, 2012
As sad as it might be, I sometimes find myself rather jaded when watching "feel good" films - but this is definitely the exception. Superb acting, interesting plotline, and great dialogue make this movie work. One thing: don't forget your tissues!
½ December 22, 2011
A touching story on how a new prefect transformed children of a school for delinquents into a school where they can learn music and accept the joys of singing. The movie has a backdrop of being in a post-WW2 France, which makes it seem even more original.
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