MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 177 this week

The Chorus (2004)
"Les choristes" (original title)

 -  Drama | Music  -  17 March 2004 (France)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 37,130 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 104 user | 114 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

The new teacher at a severely administered boys' boarding school works to positively effect the students' lives through music.

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street

Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street Debut's Today!


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 14 Mar 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 11 May 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 26 Sep 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 26 Apr 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "The Chorus" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Chorus (2004)

The Chorus (2004) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Chorus.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Jean Dréville
Stars: Noël-Noël, Micheline Francey, Georges Biscot
Paris 36 (2008)
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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 »

Director: Christophe Barratier
Stars: Gérard Jugnot, Clovis Cornillac, Kad Merad
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Dany Boon
Stars: Kad Merad, Dany Boon, Zoé Félix
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Gérard Jugnot
Stars: Jules Sitruk, Gérard Jugnot, Michèle Garcia
Departures (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A newly unemployed cellist takes a job preparing the dead for funerals.

Director: Yôjirô Takita
Stars: Masahiro Motoki, Ryôko Hirosue, Tsutomu Yamazaki
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Gérard Jugnot
Stars: Gérard Jugnot, Richard Bohringer, Victoria Abril
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Gérard Krawczyk
Stars: Christian Clavier, Josiane Balasko, Gérard Jugnot
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A successful international conductor suddenly interrupts his career and returns alone to his childhood village in Norrland, in the far north of Sweden.It doesn't take long before he is ... See full summary »

Director: Kay Pollak
Stars: Michael Nyqvist, Frida Hallgren, Helen Sjöholm
Short | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Mahdi Lepart
Stars: Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Dorothée Brière, Mélissandre Meertens
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Daniel Deleforges
Stars: Christophe Barratier, François Berléand, Marie Bunel
La maison sur le toit (TV Series 2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Marie-Christine Adam, Grégory Amsis, Catherine Arditi
Hellphone (2007)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A teenager feels an endless fascination for his cellular which will enable him to reach his aim: alluring the pretty high-school girl he's in love with. Unfortunately, this special "... See full summary »

Director: James Huth
Stars: Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Jennifer Decker, Benjamin Jungers
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

17 March 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Chorus  »

Box Office

Budget:

€5,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$117,885 (Japan) (8 April 2005)

Gross:

$3,629,758 (USA) (20 May 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspired by the film La cage aux rossignols (1945). See more »

Goofs

During the auditions, Mathieu sends pupils to the right or to the left showing the direction by his hand. When directing Ricoeur, who sings "I've got tobacco in my pouch", to the left (at 33:06 to 33:07) he first moves his hand to his right, which some cite as an error while others cite it as a flourish, but then sweeps or hooks his hand left. See more »

Quotes

Clément Mathieu: You see evil everywhere.
Chabert: Here? Yes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Interdit aux plus de 13 ans (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

An Artist's Life
Composed by Johann Strauß (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Caged birds sing
23 February 2005 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

There's an air of romance surrounding wayward boys, particularly in the French tradition, where they tend to be poetic as well as mischievous. In "The Chorus," Christophe Barratier draws on this tradition and adds some lovely vocal sounds. "The Chorus" is about an "internat" or reform school where a new principal who writes music tames his young charges, some naughty, some just abandoned, by teaching them to sing in a boys' chorus. The school director, Rachin (sounds like Nurse Ratched), François Berléand (of Jacquot's "The School of Flesh"), is a prissy sadist who preaches a philosophy of instant punishment for all real or imagined wrongdoing ("action-reaction"); but when the new principal, Clément Mathieu (Gérard Jugnot) shows up with a soft approach to his classes and his supervisory duties, he finds allies among the faculty and staff.

"The Chorus" advances the frequently screened theory that delinquent kids are better charmed than chastened; that if you can find a positive activity they excel in, the misbehavior will die out.

Barratier has had good success with his young actors. The most important boy is the "tête d'ange" (head of an angel), tall, fair-haired Morhange (Jean-Baptiste Maunier), who's often in trouble and refuses to join the choir, till Mathieu catches him singing by himself and discovers his star soloist. Morhange's voice possesses not only a rich natural musicality but the haunting purity only boy sopranos have. Morhange has the most attractive mother, and Mathieu's success in encouraging the boy's singing makes the pudgy, bald man fantasize romance with her -- thus incidentally clearing himself of the suspicion of pedophilia that tends to haunt any all-boys school setting. Mathieu's romantic dream is futile, and he humbly fades away at the story's end, like some Gallic pied piper of boy soprano-dom.

"The Chorus" takes place in post-war France and its topic and look establish immediate links with a bevy of seminal French films. Wayward French boys turn up in boarding schools that are places of both repression and refuge, as you can see in Jean Vigo's school revolution in "Zero for Conduct" (1933). The beloved textbook of the French bad-boy tradition is Alain-Fournier's "Le Grand Meaulnes" (The Wanderer), which was notably filmed by Jean-Pierre Albicocco in 1967. The tradition becomes more autobiographical in Truffaut's 1959 400 Blows, which introduced the director's alter ego, Jean-Pierre Léaud; and in Malle's moving and long-contemplated memoir of a boarding school in wartime, "Au Revoir les Enfants" (1987). Jean Cocteau mythologized a bad-boy idol who haunted him all his life in the Dargélos of "Les Enfants Terribles" (1950), made into yet another classic film by Jean-Pierre Melville. This whole idea has remaining traces in the feral youth Gaspard Ulliel plays in André Téchiné's recent "Strayed." "The Chorus," it is true, is a relatively conventional entry; except for adding music, it rides upon, rather than transcends, the tradition. But it's a warm story with much charm and little pretension.

Barratier himself is a talented musician who, like Mathieu, has drifted into other things. A trained classical guitarist, he won several international competitions after studying at the prestigious École Normale de Musique in Paris, and played professionally for several years. But in 1991 he joined Galatée films to train under his uncle, the renowned actor, producer and writer Jacques Perrin -- who bookends "The Chorus" as a Morhange who has grown up into a famous classical conductor. For the next decade Barratier was an associate producer and collaborated with Perrin on "Children of Lumière," "Microcosmos," "Himalaya" and "Winged Migration." Now he has turned his hand to fiction and directed his own film, with success. There is a risk of preciosity and sweetness, mostly avoided by the dryness of both Mathieu and Rachin as characters, as well as the surviving wickedness of the boys, especially an arch bad-boy, Mondain (Grégory Gatignol). The point of view is Mathieu's and the mature Morhange's, so the film doesn't go as deep into the boys' psyches as it goes into their voice boxes.

The director is well connected. He's the son of film actress Eva Simonet and besides his uncle his grandparents were also theater people. The Chorus was top box office in France after its release in March 2004. The French critical reception was pretty mixed, and the film's been reviled by some in the United States as (in one writer's words) "unbelievably inane, saccharine, and derivative"; "all smooth, nutrient-free clichés." Even thumbs-up king Roger Ebert didn't like it: "this feels more like a Hollywood wannabe than a French film," he wrote. "Where's the quirkiness, the nuance, the deeper levels?" But it's really a cleanly made, simple, humanistic, and satisfying little film with far less pandering than its critics claim, and whether we like it or not, it's the French Best Foreign Oscar entry, and the little chorus is likely to perform " Vois sur ton chemin" on Awards night (if their voices haven't changed). The relatively minimal mise-en-scène and the period setting link it more with its classic film antecedents than with the overproduced "Very Long Engagement" (Jeunet's film's Oscar nominations are for décor and photography). Derivative and conventionally themed? Yes. Barratier has acknowledged "The Chorus's" inspiration in an earlier film, "La Cage aux Rossignols" (The Nightingales' Cage, 1945), which has the same premise -- and anyone can name a long list of movies about teachers who charm their wayward flock. None of them feels -- or sounds -- quite like this movie, though. And the boys do their own singing: the "tête d'ange" really has the "voix d'ange." American reviewers, missing the nuances, plug Les Choristes into "Mr. Holland's Opus" or "Dead Poets Society" and find it stereotypically schmaltzy. The gentler French critics don't see those crude comparisons and are able to call it "un beau film" and find in it a satisfying example of "cinéma populaire." We can too if we open up to it.


98 of 112 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Top Ten Foreign films curlyman217
Dead poets society or les choristes? violentfreak
Not sure about the ending. mike-h
The song Morhange conducts at the beginning? wendyjoy
ON MAY 14..8:00 am on ENCD Lizarita
Difference between metacritic rating and Imdb users Pankakesnotstellar
Discuss The Chorus (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?