OK acting, with a predictive story line.
Stet (Garrett Wareing) is a rebellious, and highly volatile kid who lives with an alcoholic mother. After and accident, his father (Josh Lucas) appears and sends him to a boarding school for musically gifted boys. The school is well known for its ‘Boychoir’ group, as well as for having the highly regarded Choir Master, Master Carvelle (Dustin Hoffman).While Carvelle doesn’t believe in wasting time on Stet, Wooly (Kevin McHale), an instructor at the school, discovers Stet’s incredible music talent. Kathy Bates is also in this as the headmistress. Directed by Francois Girard.
This movie resembles Les Choristes quite a bit, and seems to be pretty much a copycat. While the characters, and main plot are different, the premise is the same. A boy who has musical talent, but no discipline, and a teacher (or teachers) who believe in helping him reach his full potential.
The acting fell short for a movie like this, and did not evoke much emotion from me. Wareing plays his part of an emotionally repressed kid well enough. And Lucas and McHale had supporting roles, so weren’t too bad as well. However, I was confused by Hoffman’s character and the way he presented himself. First off, he always mumbled, and his voice is so low that it’s hardly discernible what he is saying. Then, there’s the issue of his characteristics. His character seems a little autistic (think Rain Man), and I got the sense that there might be more to his character than shown, but it is never explored.
So, the movie pretty much focuses on Stet, but because there is not much connection with others, or exploration of other characters’ backgrounds, the emotions don’t transcend the screen. As well, the editing, and probably the directing, had something to do with this slightly disappointing movie. There are instances in the film where images overlap with each other, and this was pretty confusing. Some cuts are disconcerting as well, and made me disconnect further with the film.
Additionally, the music that the boys supposedly sang served as an interesting game for my friend and I, as we tried to distinguish what language it was. While some words sounded like English, the rest sounded like gibberish – which we concluded was probably Latin. And while the music was quite enjoyable, the lip-syncing was not. Everything was just disconnected in this movie.
Overall, you are better off watching Les Choristes, as there isn’t much to miss in this one.
PROS: OK acting, OK songs
CONS: Editing, directing, Hoffman, no background of other characters
I give this a 5/10.
Have you seen Boychoir otherwise known as The Choir? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!