The Chorus (Les Choristes)

2005

The Chorus (Les Choristes)

Critics Consensus

While predictable, this low-key heartwarmer manages to be uplifting without overdoing the sentiment.

69%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 108

92%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,305
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Movie Info

French producer and musician Christophe Barratier makes his directorial debut with the drama Les Choristes, inspired by the 1947 film La Cage aux Rossignols. Wildly successful orchestra conductor Pierre Morhange (Jacques Perrin) returns home when his mother dies. He recollects his childhood inspirations through the pages of a diary kept by his old music teacher Clément Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot). Back in the late '40s, little Pierre (Jean-Baptiste Maunier) is the badly behaved son of single mother Violette (Marie Bunel). He attends a dreary boarding school presided over by strict headmaster Rachin (François Berléand). New teacher Mathieu brightens up the place and organizes a choir, leading to the discovery of Pierre's musical talents. Featuring performances by Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc Choir. Les Choristes was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2004. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Chorus (Les Choristes)

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (33)

Audience Reviews for The Chorus (Les Choristes)

  • Jul 15, 2014
    I definitely think this film had some good intentions at heart, and I think it does a good job at fulfilling those intentions. But there's no denying that this movie is as predictable as the day is long. If you've seen any inspirational teacher-student drama then you, really, have seen them all. There's little to no variation in them, other than what technique the teacher uses to influence and, ultimately, change his/her students. This one uses music, and even THAT isn't unique to this film alone. Mr. Holland's Opus comes to mind immediately. With that said, and I don't really even care about this that much, but this was also the year Oldboy, my favorite movie of all time, and also generally regarded as one of the best foreign movies of the decade, in some case it's even regarded as one of the best movies of the decade period. Guess which film got the Oscar Nomination for Best Foreign Film. If you guessed this movie then pat yourself on the back and give yourself a cookie. Good thing it didn't win either. If it had it would've gone along with Tsotsi as one of the "worst" movies ever to win the Best Foreign Movie award. That sounds a little harsh, since this film IS good, Tsotsi was average at best, but it would be the truth. The fact that it gives off the idea that it was great doesn't actually make it great. That's where a lot of the sentimentality comes into play. That can legitimately confuse people with thinking they watched something great when they didn't. I'm not saying that all people who thought this film was great were fooled, I'm sure some have legitimate reasons for thinking that. But I'm gonna say that a big chunk, maybe not the majority, but a big chunk, bought into the sentimentality and it made them believe something that, to me, isn't true. I suppose you have to give the film credit for that. I hate to sound so harsh about the film, because I genuinely did like it. I thought the score was excellent and the acting was more than solid, with Gerard Jugnot, the teacher, being immensely likable. But, and this is something that Roger Ebert, wisely, said about the film, and that is the fact that this feels more like a Hollywood wannabe than a French film. And I completely agree with that, wholeheartedly. It, obviously, is a French film because, um, it comes from France and they speak French in it. But, stylistically and thematically, this is very much an American movie. If there's a reason that I watch foreign films, other than the fact that I tend to enjoy them more than some films from this side of the world, is to see the differences. Whether that be in the culture, storytelling, film-making techniques, acting methods, editing styles, etc, etc. I like to watch the differences from country to country. And France, being one of the most creative countries in the world, probably has a better movie than this just right around the corner. Take, for example, the Alan Partridge movie I just reviewed some hours ago. That, while not technically a foreign-language film, is completely steeped in British culture. You can sense the difference in style in Steve Coogan's comedic acting when compared to Will Ferrell, for example, on this side of the world. And that's not even meant as insult as I'm a fan of Will Ferrell's. Unfortunately, this film is content to walk the path countless others have gone down. I'm shocked at the negativity that's coming out as I'm writing this review, I've spoken more about the negatives than the positives. I know it's hard to believe, but I genuinely did like this film. Solid cast, great music, and some genuine moments of heart and warmth. But, and this is where I'll leave this, proof that sometimes good isn't good enough. While you will enjoy your time with this film, you really wouldn't miss anything if you chose to skip it.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 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.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2013
    This is heartwarming and not too schmaltzy.
    Juli R Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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