7.9/10
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The Chorus (2004)

Les choristes (original title)
PG-13 | | Drama, Music | 17 March 2004 (France)
The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively affect the students' lives through music.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Chabert
Jean-Paul Bonnaire ...
Marie Bunel ...
Violette Morhange
...
...
Grégory Gatignol ...
Mondain
Thomas Blumenthal ...
Corbin
Cyril Bernicot ...
Le Querrec
Simon Fargeot ...
Boniface
Théodule Carré-Cassaigne ...
Leclerc
...
Monsieur Langlois
Carole Weiss ...
La Comtesse
Erick Desmarestz ...
Le Docteur Dervaux
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Storyline

Fond de l'Etang is a boarding school for troubled boys located in the French countryside. In the mid-twentieth century, it is run by the principal M. Rachin, an egotistical disciplinarian whose official unofficial mantra for the school is "action - reaction", meaning that there will be severe consequences for any boy out of line. This approach does not seem to be working as the boys as a collective are an unruly bunch. In turn, the teachers don't teach, but are always watching out for the next subversive act from the boys. January 15, 1949 marks the arrival to the school of the new supervisor, M. Clément Mathieu, a middle-aged man who is grasping at finding his place in life after a series of failed endeavors. Although he does find the boys an unruly lot, Mathieu does not believe in the "action - reaction" policy, and as such, butts heads with Rachin while secretly undermining the policy. Slowly, Mathieu's approach of trying to match the discipline to the crime does have a positive ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language/sexual references and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

17 March 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Chorus  »

Box Office

Budget:

€5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,193,442 (France) (19 March 2004)

Gross:

$3,629,758 (USA) (20 May 2005)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shortly after the movie, Jean-Baptiste Maunier quit Les Petits Chanteurs De Saint-Marc because he had trouble with the conductor Nicholas Porte that was saying over and over again than no one is irreplacible. See more »

Goofs

While Mathieu is auditioning more than thirty boys in his class to sort them by the pitches of their voices, discontinuities can be perceived in the relative positions of some of the boys. While Pépinot is walking to the left side of the frame after his audition, Boniface and one of the oldest boys can be seen standing together on the lowest step of the stairs in the center of the frame (at 33:43 to 33:45). The scene then cuts to a close-up of Mathieu calling out Boniface's name to sing next (at 33:46 to 33:48). Then the scene cuts to a medium shot of Boniface stepping off the stairs, but the older boy is not beside him (at around 48 mins). In a wider shot (at around 56 mins), the older boy is at the far right of the frame with the baritones and bases having had his audition "off-camera". See more »

Quotes

[subtitled version]
[the students are writing an examination]
Pépinot enfant: Leclerc!
Leclerc: What?
Pépinot enfant: Are we still friends?
Leclerc: Sure, why?
Pépinot enfant: How much is 5 plus 3?
Leclerc: 53.
Pépinot enfant: You sure?
Leclerc: Yeah.
[...]
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Soundtracks

Action Réaction
Music by Bruno Coulais
Orchestra: Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra-Sif 309, Conductor Deyan Pavlov'
© 2004 Warner Bros. Records,WEA Music (p) 2004 Galatée Films
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User Reviews

 
Music of the heart
3 March 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The excellent film "The Choir" takes us back to a France of the past where the director Christophe Barratier and Philippe Lopes-Curval place their story about a school for problem children.

In a way, we have seen similar situations where a good teacher is the catalyst for turning around a group of unruly students into good and productive young men and women. Mathieu Clement, is such a man. His kindness toward the children is returned to him by the students, as they respond to the way he teaches music to motivate and interest them. M. Clement has a keen sense of how to deal with the students; instead of the hard line approach the principal, Rachin, insists in dealing with them, he has other ways to make them change.

The music created by the film director, M. Barratier, and Bruno Coulais, gives the film the right tone. We also hear a song by Rameau, "La Nuit", which is sung with such sweetness that it disarms us and get us into the right mood for enjoying "The Choir" even more.

The film owes a great deal to Gerard Jugnot, who plays the kind teacher who sees possibilities among all these kids. His take on Mathiew Clement is the right one, because the children see in him someone that is the opposite of the other teachers and the mean principal. As the director of the school, Francois Berleand does a good job in portraying this egotistical man who can't see what his own cruelty is doing to the young people in his charge.

The children are as sweet as one expects them to be. Especially Jean Baptiste Maunier, who plays the young Pierre Morhange. Also an angelic Maxence Perrin enchants the viewer as the young orphan Pepinot. Marie Bunel plays Pierre's mother well.

This film is music to the ears of viewers, young and old.


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