Though sentimental and sweet, "Le Concert" isn't sickeningly so, as it has a good amount of realness and ultimately builds to a musical climax that's worthy of breathlessness. It isn't perfect -- it's a bit uneven and the screenplay isn't always strong -- but it makes up for its faults with excellent performances and style that looks as bright and beautiful as a Christmas Tree.
One thing that's worthy of applauding is the plot, which most would expect to find in a movie from decades ago, not in the 2000's. Andre? Filipov (Alexei Guskov) was once a successful Russian conductor, but in his prime he was ruined by the Soviet regime due to the fact that most of his orchestra was Jewish.
That was 25 years ago, and in the present he spends his days working as a janitor for the theatre he once played in. But things change when he accidentally comes across an invitation from France for the Russian orchestra to play at the Théåtre du Chåtelet. The orchestra that he's been watching all these years in his opinion, is terrible, so he decides to round up his old one instead.
"Le Concert" is human enough to the point where you watch, and really pray to God that everything will work out. Andre? is such a kind man, and his sidekick, the teddy bear-ish Sasha (Dmitriy Nazarov), has such a warm smile that you can't help but want him to be happy.
After all, this unfortunate group of people had their success snatched away from them, which truly is tragic, and deeply unfair. For them to get the chance to get a standing ovation once again to us, already seems like a big moment, but to them, it could turn their life around for the better.
Radu Mihaileanu, who directs with a steady eye on detail and writes with bittersweet loveliness, never manipulates the audience, instead letting us get used to the situation to the point where all we can do is sit back, surrender, and enjoy the moment. The scene at the end, with contains an awesome, prolong, and sharply edited orchestral playing, features such filmmaking gold that it in itself is enough of a reason to see the film, as well as Mélanie Laurent's ultra-convincing fake violin playing.
"Le Concert" is a fine example of simplistic filmmaking that can turn into so much more. As the film unfolds, we're shown layers of drama, comedy, and musicality that's inspiring. All in all, it's a delicious treat.