Les Choristes

In French class, we finished the heartfelt film Les Choristes. It is the story of a failed musician turned boarding-school teacher who finds a way to corral rebellious boys into a group of singing angels. The whole thing reminded me of some of the great formula films in this category: Mr. Holland’s Opus and Dead Poets Society. It does a nice job telling the formulaic story but just misses the mark on the cliche conclusion. Maybe it is just me but I was looking for the group of boys to leave the school to sing for some dignatary as in Sister Act or something. Instead, the grand finale moment is split between two scenes and loses the faces of the kids. The first of the scenes is where the teacher leaves and the students, unable to say goodbye, fly message-filled paper airplanes out the window to him. Then the other is a scene with just one boy leaving the school to go with the teacher.

Musically, the film is on point. Appropriately, all the singing was done by a real boys chorus and not women. The songs sung are well selected french tunes with poignant lyrics. The boy who is the main soloist is particularly good. His “ping,” most closely tied to the quality of his voice, is quite extraordinary even if his pitch is just so-so. Toward the end almost every scene had a constant boy choir soundtrack which was a little much at times but effective.

Check out the soundtrack under “Les Choristes” released by the Warner Music Group.

While Dr. Lamott gave his two cents calling the movie “mediocre,” I think it is well done. Not a classic but still worth seeing.

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