The locale for this French sub-titled film is a locked fortress-like school for poor boys from broken homes, WWII orphans and juvenile delinquents, very Dickensian in feel. The principal of the school,is a detestable man who abuses students and teachers equally. You've seen the plot before, of course, and some of the characters are "stock" sorts. But the acting of the lead, the teacher who "saves" the students by luring them into singing, is portrayed charmingly by Gerard Jugnot. Mostly bald, a bit stocky and no beauty, he is nonetheless disarming. The boy soprano, Jean-Baptiste Maunier, has a wonderful voice, and the chorus is splendid. Particularly fine was the score, almost entirely original, by Bruno Colais. I was looking for something inspiring on this bitter cold inaugural day in the U.S. Les Choristes made my spirit soar and reaffirmed that kindness, generosity of self and the gift of music still have the power to change people's lives.