Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Les choristes (film review)

The ChorusWhen Les choristes (known in English under the title The Choir) begins, an elderly Pierre Moranghe (played by Jacques Perrin) greets his onetime classmate Pépinot (played by Maxence Perrin), who has a notebook in his hand; the year is 1999. The notebook consists of a journal kept by their former teacher, Clémont Mathieu (played by Gérard Jugnot). During much of the rest of the film, directed by Christophe Barratier, the words in Mathieu's notebook serve as voiceover texts for a touching story that begins in 1949, when he enters the grounds of Fond de l'Etang (loosely translated as Bottom of the Barrel), a boarding school for sixty or so young misfits, many of whom are war orphans, ranging in age from about nine to seventeen.