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 »
OK, I get it. This is a feel good movie. The cinematic equivalent of smooth jazz. Something I can handle about once a year with the kiddies. But did the script have to be so agonizingly predictable? The outcome was obvious about five minutes in. For the balance of the film, I found myself waiting somewhat impatiently for the next bit of choral music, which WAS wonderful.
Also perplexing was the films message or messages. The feel good genre generally delivers up a platitude or two anyone can easily latch on to. The messages here seemed to be, very loosely, only those who become "the best" can expect to receive the love of family and acceptance within their institution of choice. Didn't work for me.
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