The Chorus (Les Choristes)

July 26th, 2009

I like movies where young actors perform not only as actors but perform as musicians or artists, playing piano, violin, singing or dancing. This movie is one of such movies in which children sing beautiful songs and most of them are real singers in their real life. This movie introduces Jean-Baptiste Maunier, a French soloist singer and actor, who became famous for his role of a troubled boy Pierre Morhange. Pierre was sent to "Fond de l'Etang", a school for troubled kids along with many other orphans who lost their parents in World War II. The school is ruled by a ruthless principal Rachin who accepts only one method of discipline: "action - reaction". Children are beaten and locked up for nitpicky misbehavior as well as for serious issues. However, this method brings only one result: the boys are more reluctant to behave better and Rachin gets even more resistance and more troubles from them. His method "action - reaction" turns against him. As much as he presses the boys as much counter-reaction he gets. And the boys feel themselves more isolated, hated and useless.

When a new prefect, Clement Mathieu (Gerard Jugnot) enters the school, he sees a sad picture of Rachin method: distressed, resistive boys without any interest in anything and teachers leaving the school to save their life. Everybody in school lost all hope in the boys ability to be better people. Nobody believes in them, and old teachers are warning Mathieu against the boys. You can see sad eyes of the boys without any sparks. Really sad picture.

Clement Mathieu is a sad man too. It seems like he has lost his family during the war and become a very lonely, aging man, who sees his bright future no more. For some reason he gave up his life and his passion: music. He was a composer. When he meets the boys for the first time, it seems like he is going to lose the first "battle" for the authority in the classroom. He gets involved in a few incidents with the boys in presence of Rachin, but surprisingly for the boys, Mathieu steps up to protect the boys against punishments. The boys appreciate it and start looking at Mathieu like a man who cares about them. When a small group of boys led by Pierre Morhange steals Mathieu's brief case with music scripts, the prefect gets an idea. He establishes a chorus.

Rachin is not fond of such an idea, but he allows to have the chorus in school. When the chorus become famous, he takes all the credit for it. Nevertheless in this part of the movie you can see an amazing change in boys and even in Rachin himself. It was like a spring coming after a very long and dark winter. Singing boys started behaving well, started dreaming and having their boy's wishes. You can see their little faces full of smiling, hope, dreams, sparks in their eyes and love. You can see that special moment you want to see in every children's face around the world. You will get close to tears to see all this along with the incredibly beautiful music.

And the music of this movie is what makes this film so precious. The music became a world bestseller soon after the movie was released along with double impression at 2004 Oscars (nominated in categories Best Foreign Language Film and Best song categories film).

The soundtrack for this movie was composed by Bruno Coulais and he did an excellent work helping to create a great inspirational story which catches hearts of the audience around the world. You will love this movie and music immediately after the first tones.

You can buy the Les Choristes MP3 album here

The film is in French language with English subtitles and I strongly recommend you to purchase the original version instead of any dabbed versions. I could see German and Spanish dabbing and the movie lost its beauty. You should hear the French language along with the songs!

Screen shots:

If you like this heart-touching movie about the boys singing in a chorus and loved by their only friend and teacher, purchase it Buy Here
By purchasing this movie, you will help to donate to children with leukemia. Thank you.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

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