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neumu
Sunday, December 21, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Chorus cinematronic
  director

Christophe Barratier

cast

Gérard Jugnot, François Berléand, Kad Merad, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Jean-Paul Bonnaire, Marie Bunel, Jacques Perrin, Didier Flamand

year

2004

rating rating cinematronic
  Looking like it was built to earn accolades for its spiritual uplift and its attention to humanity's tragicomic foibles, the bittersweet French feature "The Chorus" is a teacher/student drama in the tradition of "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" and "Mr. Holland's Opus." In 1948, postwar France is still crawling from the wreckage. The status quo is far from ideal, especially at a boarding school for wayward and orphaned boys. Such an institution is harsh from the get-go, and this particular establishment has a repressive headmaster and callous instructors to make the lives of the students even more difficult. As a reaction, some kids foment mischief; others are numbed to listlessness. But newly appointed supervisor and music teacher Clément Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot) thinks he can make a difference in the pupils' lives through the inspirational power of music. When Mathieu gets the idea to organize a boys' chorus, the project energizes his charges. Roadblocks to successfully executing his plan materialize in the form of shortsighted administrators, logistical difficulties, and, of course, the more emotionally damaged kids in his care. It's easy to see where "The Chorus" is going. Directed and co-written by Christophe Barratier, the movie offers no surprises as it goes about its heart-tugging business. At least the music is ear-pleasing, and the actors, whether adults or children, are good enough to coerce a little caring from an onlooker.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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