A French public servant from Provence is banished to the far North. Strongly prejudiced against this cold and inhospitable place, he leaves his family behind to relocate temporarily there, with the firm intent to quickly come back.
In 1942, in an occupied Paris, the apolitical grocer Edmond Batignole lives with his wife and daughter in a small apartment in the building of his grocery. When his future son-in-law and ... See full summary »
A man is charged with murder. He is Pigoil, the aging stage manager at Chansonia, a music hall in a Paris faubourg. His confession is a long flashback to New Year's Eve, 1935, when he ... See full summary »
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Harris Tindall is a pencil sharpener. He is the last descendant of a family fully dedicated to this artistic tradition. Each day, the sharpener adjusts his pencil leads depending on his ... See full summary »
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
For the role of Pierre Morhange (Jean-Baptiste Maunier), the filmmakers chose to hire an actual boys choir soloist. Jean-Baptiste is the soloist of Petits Chanteurs de Saint-Marc, the choir who also sang the songs in the film. See more »
In the scene at the end of the film when the bus leaves (at around 1h 30 mins) you can see clearly the speed limit label on the rear of the bus (85 km/h). When the bus leaves for the second time it has disappeared (at around 1h 30 mins). See more »
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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