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.
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 »
To amuse themselves at a weekly dinner, a few well-heeled folk each bring a dimwit along who is to talk about his pastime. Each member seeks to introduce a champion dumbbell. Pierre, an ... See full summary »
At a Montréal public grade school, an Algerian immigrant is hired to replace a popular teacher who committed suicide in her classroom. While helping his students deal with their grief, his own recent loss is revealed.
Vincent is about to become a father. At a meeting with childhood friends he announces the name for his future son. The scandalous name ignites a discussion which surfaces unpleasant matters from the past of the group.
Alexandre de La Patellière,
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
As Rachin enters the car and leaves with his family towards the end of the movie, crew members are reflected on the car windows. A man with a cigarette in his mouth can be seen (at around 1h 30 mins) reflected first in the front side window and then in the back side window as the car drives past the camera. See more »
[Morhange's mother has come to visit him]
I didn't tell her last time that you were in detention, I told her you had a toothache and went to the dentist. Don't tell her I lied.
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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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