Stet, a troubled and angry 11-year-old orphan from a small Texas town, ends up at a Boy Choir school back East after the death of his single mom. Completely out of his element, he finds himself in a battle of wills with a demanding Choir Master who recognizes a unique talent in this young boy as he pushes him to discover his creative heart and soul in music.Written by
Dustin Hoffman seriously studied the piano in his youth, but was not considered talented enough to make a career of it, just like his character Master Carvelle. See more »
Most of the music in this film is altered from its original versions, in some cases ending up dramatically different. Handel's Coronation Anthem, "Zadok the Priest", for example, is sung for about sixteen bars, when the audience suddenly applauds, some four or five minutes before the authentic piece would have been finished. Very few of these modifications were noted in the credits as "arranged by . . ." Speaking of poor Handel, his name is listed in the credits several times (the film score uses several of his works) as "Georges Friedrich Handel". Why would the French spelling of "George" be used? Handel was German, writing most of his music in England and Ireland. (Even the French-language Wikipedia page lists him as George, with the German alternative of Georg also noted.) And the reference to his "Alleluia" from Messiah borders on criminal. Everyone knows - or certainly should know in a production like this that strives to appear "classical" - that the piece was titled "Hallelujah" in every creditable published edition. See more »
Every so often there are the stories of the "Battle against the odds". The plot line has been done countless times before in cinematic history and here we have another one. When I heard about this film I was under the impression that it would be akin to a "choral" version of "Whiplash" (I think others picked up on that one too) but how wrong I was. Rather than the music teacher being the "JK Simmons type" menacing type our music teacher in this film is more of a nurturing talent type.
The premise is simple. Our main character, young Stet has a troubled childhood but has a gift of a voice and can sing. When he loses his mother, his father takes him to an elite music school where he meets his mentor "Carvelle" (Dustin Hoffman) and there he learns to craft his singing ability.
Musically the film was simply breathtaking no doubt about that and it represents a return to form for Dustin Hoffman but the story was a little predictable as others have already stated in other reviews. It's nothing new and the feel-good film genre has been overcrowded for some time.
However this Is still something good for a night in with the family. Something that everyone will agree on. It doesn't take a lot to understand the ideas conveyed in this film. It won't win any major praises from critics but it has made me want to book tickets to the next Vienna Boys Choir concert
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