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Thirty years ago, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov, the renowned conductor of the Bolshoi orchestra, was fired for hiring Jewish musicians. Now a mere cleaning man at the Bolshoi, he learns by accident that the Châtelet Theater in Paris invites the Bolshoi orchestra to play there. He decides to gather together his former musicians and to perform in Paris in the place of the current Bolshoi orchestra. As a solo violin player to accompany his old Jewish or Gypsy musicians he wants Anne-Marie Jacquet, a young virtuoso. If they all overcome the hardships ahead this very special concert will be a triumph. Written by
Melanie Laurent started learning to play the violin only a few months before production. For the concert scenes, she learned all the bow movements, so her bow would always be on the correct string and move convincingly. However, her left hand (and sometimes arm) were digitally added/replaced in post-production. See more »
A Film not only for Movie Lovers, but Mainly for Music Lovers
In Moscow, the former conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra Andrey Simonovich Filipov (Alexeï Guskov) is presently the janitor of the theater. Andrey felt in disgrace with the Communist Party thirty years ago for protecting the Jewish musicians and was no longer allowed to conduct an orchestra. One night, Andrey reads a just-received fax while cleaning the office of the Bolshoi's director Leonid Vinichenko (Valentin Teodosiu) and he hides the document. He learns that the Châtelet Theater in Paris has just invited the Bolshoi Orchestra to perform a concert in Paris within two weeks. Andrey shows the fax to his friend and musician Aleksandr 'Sasha' Abramovich Grosman (Dimitri Nazarov) that drives an ambulance and he decides to reunite fifty-five former musicians of Bolshoi to travel to Paris and perform The Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He invites the Communist leader and former KGB Ivan Gavrilov (Valeri Barinov) to manage the orchestra and he requests the solo of the prominent musician Anne- Marie Jacquet (Mélanie Laurent) and to stay in Paris for three days.
When they arrive in Paris, Andrey meets Anne-Marie while the musicians wander in the city, partying and raising money. The unprofessionalism of the Russian musicians forces Anne-Marie to call off the concert; but Sasha convinces her to come to the theater. Meanwhile Andrey grieves the incident with the violinist Lea thirty years ago and hides a secret from Anne-Marie. What is the connection between Andrey and Anne-Marie?
"Le Concert" is a film not only for movie lovers, but mainly for music lovers. This dramatic comedy tells an adorable bitter-sweet story about losses and second chance in life through music, or better, the wonderful and awesome Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto.
The director Radu Mihaileanu, from "Train de Vie", once again plays with tragic situations, using a witty screenplay with charismatic characters and making laugh and cry out of joy. I have seen the sequence of the concert at least eight consecutive times, full of emotion and with tears in my eyes. This is one of the most beautiful and touching climax I have ever seen in a film.
The cast is fantastic and Mélanie Laurent is awesome, giving credibility to her violin solo during the presentation. Last but not the least, this film should have been at least nominated to the Oscar. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "O Concerto" ("The Concert" not available on DVD or Blu-Ray)
Note: On 10 August 2011, I saw this outstanding film again on DVD.
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