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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
According to extras on the set, namely members of the real Boychoir, Dustin Hoffman was horrendous at conducting in real life. So much so that a real conductor had to lay in front of him - off camera - and conduct the Boys properly. Apparently Mr. Hoffman has no rhythm. 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 »
This is very simple Mr. Owens. I continue your son's instruction and you secret remains just that.
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The beautiful music of Boychoir is what lingers long after the credits roll
I attended TIFF for one reason and one reason only, Boychoir. After swooning over François Girard's The Red Violin I was looking forward to a beautiful story set to beautiful music. I was not disappointed. The story is told in sections, reminiscent of Violin. In the case of Boychoir, however, it is not necessary and, as a result, the story does not flow seamlessly. The audience will easily fill in the gaps though and will be quickly won over by what Girard knows best – the music.
From start to finish, the music is breathtaking. The music of American Boychoir provides the thread that the story lacks. Not only does the music provide the thread, it provides the heart of the story as well. You will catch yourself smiling as the boys, known for their sophistication, sing a silly song when no one is looking. You will shed a tear when angelic voices rise to meet the demands of their choir master. The music is in equal measure haunting and uplifting. The members of American Boychoir, who were not recreated but actually recruited for this film, look like seasoned veterans on screen. It is clear that the music is a part of them and singing appears as natural as breathing.
Newcomer Garrett Wareing is subtle in his performance and a joy to watch. Veterans Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Izzard, Josh Lucas and Debra Winger undoubtedly earn their paycheck. Kathy Bates has some wonderful lines and delivers them brilliantly.
But the beautiful music of Boychoir is what lingers long after the credits roll.
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