Documents the true story of the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young at Heart Chorus in Northampton, MA, whose average age is 81, and many of whom must overcome health adversities to participate. Their music is unexpected, going against the stereotype of their age group, performing songs, for example, by James Brown, and Sonic Youth. Although they have toured Europe and sang for royalty, this account focuses on preparing new songs, not an easy endeavor, for a concert in their home town, which succeeds in spite of several real heart breaking events. Written by
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The end of the credits in the original European version of the movie featured a brief clip of Eileen Hall chatting with the production crew: "I feel sorry for you two - you with that camera and you with that thing, always bobbing up and down. Don't you get tired? Yeah, I bet you do." That clip was cut from the U.S. release and re-appeared as bonus material on the U.S. DVD release. See more »
(Synopsis) Over the last 25 years, there has existed a group of senior citizens living in Northampton, Massachusetts, who refuse to let age and ill health get them down. Young@Heart is a documentary based on the lives of the current singing group of 24 senior citizens, brought to the big screen by British filmmaker, Stephen Walker, who saw their performance in London. Young@Heart is not your ordinary singing chorus, because they sing rock, punk, disco, and the average age is 81 with the oldest being 92 year old Eileen Hall. The documentary follows the group over a six-week rigorous rehearsal schedule, plus practicing at home for an upcoming sold out concert in their home town. The group has many songs in their repertoire, but Bob Cilman, the stern but sympathetic chorus director, has added several songs for the new concert. These are not easy for the group to learn such as "Yes We Can," "Schizophrenia" and "I Got You or (I Feel Good)". After several weeks of practice, the group is on their way to the local jail to give a performance, when they learn that one of their members passed away the night before. It is devastating for them, but they have learned that the show must go on. They all pull together and practice even harder to get ready for their evening performance. That night, their concert is a rousing success, and ends with a standing ovation.
(My Comment) This movie is for people who want to see the real thing. Several of the senior citizens in this documentary open up their lives to us. You get to know them in just a few minutes, and you know that they are good people. The songs that they sing are not from their generation, yet they are willing to try something new. The seniors believe the old saying, "Use it or lose it," and that is why they love singing in the chorus. Plus with perseverance and teamwork, they have become part of a second family. I laughed, smiled, tapped my foot, and even shed a few tears during the whole movie. I saw the movie twice: The first time I liked it, and the second time, I loved it. The younger audiences may not get it, but I know the adult audience will understand and love it. Young@Heart is truly an inspirational, entertaining, heart-felt, and wonderful documentary. This is an incredible story that needed to be told. You will absolutely love Fred Knittle's rendition of Coldplay's "Fix You." This is one of those sleeper movies you will hear about. (Fox Searchlight, Run Time 1:47, Rated PG)(10/10)
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