1949, post-War France - In a dark, doom-filled school for troubled boys where hope itself is in short supply, a mild-mannered new teacher has just arrived, only to find himself surrounded by prepubescent thieves, inveterate liars, unapologetic rebels and lost souls beyond reach. When he introduces these supposedly hard-core delinquents to something they've never experienced before - the freedom and joy of music - he discovers there is far more to these children than anyone dared to believe.
En 1949, Clément Mathieu, professeur de musique sans emploi, est nommé surveillant dans un internat de rééducation pour mineurs. Particulièrement répressif, le système déducation du directeur Rachin peine à maintenir lautorité sur des élèves difficiles. En familiarisant les pensionnaires à la magie du chant, Mathieu va transformer leur vie...
By getting nominated for Academy Awards in both the Foreign Language Film and Best Song categories, Les Choristes
(The Chorus) made a rare (for a European film) double impression at the 2004 Oscars. This sentimental tale follows the arrival of a new teacher at a remote boys school in 1949 France (the war is a largely unspoken but ghostly presence). With disciplinary problems rampant, and the policies of the old-fashioned headmaster not helping, Monsieur Mathieu decides to introduce choral singing as a way to bridge the gap with his students. You don't need a crystal ball to figure out where this will go, although the movie uses its atmospheric location and lush vocal arrangements well. Bald, dumpy Gerard Jugnot provides a refreshingly offbeat hero (though securely in the traditions of the My Most Memorable Teacher movie); he's sort of a younger Philippe Noiret. Director Christophe Barratier works in the winsome-cute mode that makes a certain kind of French movie into an overly sweet bon bon, although at least this bon bon sings. --Robert Horton