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
A planned Spring 2016 broadcast of the film on CBS was cancelled at the last minute after a backlash from real-life former choirboys who were sexually abused at a private school similar to the one depicted in the movie. 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 »
Inspirational, heartwarming, family friendly film. Loved it!
I am a fan of so much about this movie starting with its director François Girard, whose sensitive fingerprints are all over this lovely film, to what a perfect cast, to shepherd Ben Ripleys story which burrows deep into your heart.
This is one of Dustin Hoffman's best roles in ages, and it is a joy to see him again at the top of his game. Kathy Bates is exceptional as always, and the rest of the supporting cast brought life and heart to their performances
The new young star Garrett Wareing is already showcasing serious acting chops in this his first role and manages quite genuinely to evoke the transitory nature of life starting with his parents all the way to the very thing that saves him in this movie the voice of an angel that will ultimately change. But isn't that what life is about? It's not what you deal with but how you deal with it? This film teaches us that lesson with a spoonful of sugar and the heavenly voices of the American Boy Choir. I was brought to tears more than once and the ending was genuinely heart touching and inspirational.
I saw this at Toronto and the movie was a true "crowd pleaser" in the very best sense. It received a sustained standing ovation.
A wonderful family film, and a holiday excursion into the heavens because wait until you hear not only the American Boy choir sing but also Josh Groban's song "Mystery of Your Gift" at the end of the film. It was breathtakingly beautiful and Oscar worthy.
I highly recommend it.
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